Formula 1 Star Lost Both Legs in Crash & Then Became a Paralympic Champion — Meet Alex Zanardi

Stephen Thompson
Dec 31, 2020
06:20 P.M.

Famous CART champion Alex Zanardi who lost both of his legs in a horrible accident didn't give up, and now he is a paralympic gold winner.


Zanardi is a two-time Italian CART champion whose legs were amputated after his car was rammed into by another driver during the "American Memorial 500" competition.

With 12 laps left for the competition, the then 34-year-old seemed to accelerate a little bit too early after getting out of the pit area. That was the moment that he lost control of his vehicle and swerved into the path of driver Alex Tagliani's car.

Alex Zanardi attends 'Che Tempo Che Fa' TV Show on February 8, 2015 in Milan. | Photo: Getty Images

Alex Zanardi attends 'Che Tempo Che Fa' TV Show on February 8, 2015 in Milan. | Photo: Getty Images

According to CART physician Dr. Steve Olvey, the Italian was under the knife for about three hours to get both his legs amputated right above the knee.

Zanardi also injured his pelvis and suffered a severe concussion. After the accident, Zanardi never gave up; he continued racing in modified touring cars for years before he later fell in love with handbike racing.


His hard work and determination really paid off because he is now the proud owner of a few Paralympic medals today. He shone during the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics in Tokyo.


He dominated throughout the competition, and he went home with four gold medals and two silver medals. He would have competed during the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, but unfortunately, the Games were postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Some of Alex Zanardi's career highlights include winning CART's rookie of the year in 1996.


In June, another tragedy occurred. Zanardi suffered serious brain trauma and skull injuries during a handbike relay when his bike crashed into a larger vehicle.

He was rushed to an intensive care unit in Sienna, where he underwent three surgeries to stabilize him and reconstruct his badly damaged face. After the successful surgery, he was put in a medically induced coma.


Not long ago, San Raffaele hospital in Milan provided a positive update on Zanardi's condition through a statement they released. According to the hospital, Zanardi is now physically stable.

This means that he can be moved to another facility that can better care for his not so pressing needs. The statement continued that the athlete has undertaken a course for his physical and cognitive rehabilitation in the last two months.

The hospital also wished him and his family strength and a quick recovery. Some of Alex Zanardi's career highlights include winning CART's rookie of the year in 1996.

Zanardi was also the only third back-to-back CART champion with titles in 1997-98, and he owned CART's single-season scoring record: 285 points in 1998.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

Shawn Johnson Stands on Hands While Pregnant with 3rd Child in Fun Video with Husband, Years since Losing 1st Baby

December 02, 2023

Users Say Kate Middleton, 41, Showed Too Much Bare Legs & Skirt Length Was 'Not Appropriate' during New Outing

November 22, 2023

I Got Strange Mute Calls Every Day for Months, until Once I Heard Words That Shocked Me – Story of the Day

February 06, 2024

Carly Patterson Is a Mom of 3 with Her Husband despite Suffering a Miscarriage

December 06, 2023

Woman Comes to Adopt a Child and Sees Her Late Son There – Story of the Day

December 15, 2023

Groom Widowed a Few Minutes after Leaving Wedding Reception – Now Bride's Mom Files Motion Against Him

December 08, 2023

Cause of Nick Carter’s Sister, Bobbie Jean’s Death at 41 Revealed — Details

February 13, 2024

My Little Sister Speaks a Strange Language in Her Sleep, We're Shocked When We Found Out the Translation – Story of the Day

January 30, 2024

At Funeral, Man Lays Late Friend's Phone on Coffin, Then Widow Gets Call from Deceased's Number — Story of the Day

February 09, 2024

My SIL Demanded That I Pay $1000 for Her and Her Friends at a Restaurant, but My Husband and I Taught Her a Lesson

March 05, 2024

Woman Comes to Adopt a Kid and Sees Her Late Son There – Story of the Day

January 22, 2024

Why Olympic Legend Scott Hamilton, Dad of 4, Chose Not to Treat His Brain Tumor

February 22, 2024

The Moment I Met My Boyfriend's Mom, My World Turned Upside Down

February 16, 2024

My Wife Had a New Friend, and Later I Was Horrified to Find Out That It Was My Ex – Story of the Day

February 01, 2024