In 2001 Indy Car race driver Alex Zanardi was involved in an accident that very nearly cost him his life. It did cost him his legs. The accident started out minor, but then, as can happen in motor sports, the unusual occurred and his car was hit broadside at speed by another car. Zanardi’s friend was the first to arrive on the scene to help. Running to the car, he slipped and fell in what he presumed was a large slick of motor oil. It was blood from Zanardi. Nobody thought he would survive.
However, Zanardi not only survived but thrived. Among us walk champions. You never know when one might be nearby. You can’t tell from looking a person if they are a champion, you can only tell by their actions. As the famous quote from Armor by John Steakley goes, “You are what you do when it counts.”
After the accident Zanardi faced insurmountable odds of regaining a normal life. In fact, he did not return to normal. Instead, he looked for a new way to compete at the highest possible level. He found that in handcycle racing. He won two gold and one silver medals in London at the Paralypic Games.
Alex Zanardi says that “Looking back I have to say that my accident has become one of the greatest opportunities of my life.” He told David Letterman this month that “Curiosity is all you need in life.” He explained that when you find your passion, the results you get in your endeavors will be amazing. The lead photo of this story is courtesy of Youtube and Paralympic Games. The photo was taken after a handcycle race at the same track where Alex Zanardi had his terrible Indy Car crash in 2001.