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Zanardi back home 18 months after horror accident

By AFP
20 December 2021   |   1:45 pm
Alex Zanardi, the former Formula 1 driver who became a Paralympic champion, has returned home to continue his rehabilitation after a horrific road accident in June 2020, his wife Daniela Zanardi announced on Monday.

Alex Zanardi, who underwent neurosurgery after being injured while competing in a handbike race on Friday, celebrates after finishing Ironman Italy last September. Bryn Lennon/Getty Images for IRONMAN

Alex Zanardi, the former Formula 1 driver who became a Paralympic champion, has returned home to continue his rehabilitation after a horrific road accident in June 2020, his wife Daniela Zanardi announced on Monday.

Zanardi underwent carnio-facial reconstruction after suffering serious head injuries when his handbike crashed into an oncoming truck during a race in Tuscany.

“Alex was able to leave the hospital a few weeks ago and he is now back with us, at home,” Daniela Zanardi said in an interview broadcast by BMW, for whom Zanardi is an ambassador.

“After the long time in hospital, it is important for him to be back with his family and in his familiar environment.

“You also have to consider that, due to the coronavirus situation, Alex had only people with face masks and in protective equipment around him for one and a half years.

“He has returned a little bit to normality which gives him extra strength.”

The 55-year-old Zanardi was first hospitalised in Milan, transferring to a hospital in Padua, closer to his home, a year ago.

“The recovery continues to be a long process. Of course, setbacks are there and can still occur,” said his wife.

“Sometimes you have to make two steps back in order to make one step forward. But Alex proves again and again that he is a real fighter.”

Zanardi had both his legs amputated after a motor racing accident in 2001 at the Lausitzring track in Germany, and has since become one of the best-known figures in Paralympic sports.

He won two gold medals at the 2012 London Paralympic Games and four years later won two more in Rio de Janeiro.

Zanardi raced for Jordan, Minardi and Lotus in F1 in the early 1990s before switching to the CART championship in the United States and was crowned champion in 1997 and 1998.

He returned to F1 with Williams in 1999 before heading back to CART.

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