Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Truly Inspirational Story

Alex Zanardi

As I have said in the past, despite the general moroseness of this Website (simply because it documents the suffering of so many people), I do enjoy bringing my readers inspiring and uplifting news, when on the rare occasion it does occur. A short while ago I was reading an article in regard to the return to Formula One Racing of a race car driver by the name of Alex Zanardi.

Now ordinarily, not much hype would have been made when someone who's been around a pro-sport returns. And while a number of professional athletes have done so, most of them made nary a ripple. However, Alex Zanardi is not just your average athlete making a come back. This man has no legs.

Back in 2001, he was nearly killed in a Formula One race when while exiting his pit, Zanardi's car was hit broadside by another traveling at 2oo miles per hour, splitting his car in two and mangling his legs so badly that they both had to be amputated. He spent a week in a coma and would undergo years of rehabilitation. But in 2007, this incredible athlete and human interest story is poised to make a comeback like no race car driver before him.

While there have been some very impressive stories in regard to athletes who've continued to compete after losing limbs, none were traveling in racing cars capable of more than 200 mph or participating in the most difficult and competitive race car series in the world.

Perhaps only one other Formula One driver by the name of Nikki Lauda came close, when after being severely burned in a horrifying crash back in the 1970's, Lauda, permanently scarred from the critical burns that he received from the fire which ensued during the crash, made a very courageous and heralded come back.

Nearly three decades later, Alex Zanardi is on the verge of doing the same thing, however, facing even greater adversity. I wish this courageous man well with his second chance at life, and his second career as a race car driver, in what is arguably the most exciting and prestigious sport in existence. Very few people can understand the courage and both physical and mental strength that it takes to operate one of these extremely powerful and agile vehicles. Moreover, racers who have the use of all their limbs must have tremendous talent in order to successfully navigate these cars around a track.

To say that Zanardi has chosen a difficult taskl for himself is at best an understatement. However, if he succeeds (and I certainly hope that he does) he would truly qualify as the most amazing athlete on this planet.

Be successful Alex, but first and foremost be SAFE. (At least as safe as one can be traveling at 200 mph in an open wheel race car.)

His story can be found at the following link:


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