Racer Alex Zanardi suffers serious crash in Italian handbike race

ROME — Paralympic winner Alex Zanardi was very seriously hurt all over again in a handbike crash on Friday — almost twenty several years after shedding equally of his legs in a horrific automobile racing accident.

Zanardi was transported by helicopter to Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital in Siena following an incident near the Tuscan city of Pienza all through a national race for Paralympic athletes, law enforcement advised The Connected Press.

He reportedly experienced significant head trauma.

“You’ve in no way provided up and with your extraordinary toughness inside of you’ve prevail over a thousand problems. Forza Alex Zanardi,” Italian Leading Giuseppe Conte tweeted. “Don’t give up. All of Italy is with you.”

A Carabinieri law enforcement formal in Montepulciano stated the incident included a “heavy auto.” The formal did not give his title as for every local personalized.

Community Tv set at the scene of the crash showed what was seemingly Zanardi’s handbike lying on its side and missing two of its a few wheels. A huge truck pulling a semitrailer appeared parked on the road forward.

“It took place on a a little downhill straightaway just just before a slight curve in the road,” national team coach Mario Valentini, who was following the race, advised La Repubblica Florence. “Alex veered a little into the oncoming lane just when a truck arrived. (The truck) attempted to swerve but could not prevent the crash.

Repubblica stated Zanardi remained mindful until eventually healthcare staff arrived, and that he was respiratory by himself.

“Twenty minutes handed from the time of the accident to when the healthcare staff arrived. It took some time to load him (into the ambulance). His wife assisted. Following the accident he was speaking,” Valentini extra in a different interview with local media.

Valentini stated he was not an eyewitness to the accident but arrived at the scene right away afterward.

“It was a sunny working day and anyone was delighted. We ended up twenty kilometers (12 miles) from (the complete line) in Montalcino,” Valentini stated. “The truck didn’t make a oversight. Alex produced the oversight.”

The coach extra Zanardi’s helmet arrived off all through the crash.

Racing great Mario Andretti tweeted, “I am so nervous and frightened about Alex Zanardi that I’m holding my breath. I am his enthusiast. I am his friend. You should do what I’m performing and pray pray (for) this fantastic man.”

Zanardi gained 4 gold medals in handbike at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics.

The fifty three-12 months-aged Zanardi lost his legs in a horrific crash all through a 2001 CART race in Germany.

At the time, Zanardi was a two-time CART winner who experienced lately returned from a 2nd stint in Formulation One and experienced plowed by means of the discipline to lead laps for the to start with time since he’d left the series after his 1998 title. The crash happened when Zanardi spun his automobile after a pit prevent and he was strike by a different driver. Both equally legs ended up severed at effects.

Zanardi was an recognized racing star just before the accident, and his accomplishments since transcend sporting activities. An inspirational figure with an indomitable spirit, he designed his very own prosthetics — he jokes he produced himself taller — and figured out to walk all over again. Then he returned to racing in touring cars and trucks. Following that arrived hand biking, a class victory in the New York Metropolis Marathon and Paralympic glory.

Last 12 months, Zanardi competed in the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race, driving in a race for the to start with time without having prosthetics. He employed a particular steering wheel designed for him by BMW that permitted him to generate with hand levers.

“He has 7 lives,” Valentini stated. “Like cats.”

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