The 53-calendar year-aged Zanardi, who had both his legs amputated soon after a motor racing accident nearly 20 yrs in the past, dropped control of his handbike machine though competing in the ‘Obiettivo tricolore’ relay race in Tuscany, Italy on Friday.
According to various stories, he crossed the white line into the path of an oncoming observe, which was unable to steer clear of him.
Pursuing the incident, the Italian was airlifted to the Santa Maria alle Scott healthcare facility in Siena exactly where he underwent three hrs of unexpected emergency neurological medical procedures for facial head accidents.
A assertion introduced by the medical center reported Zanardi is in a “secure” issue in intensive treatment subsequent his procedure.
“He is incubated and supported by synthetic air flow though the neurological image stays critical,” read the health-related bulletin.
Zanardi’s plight was captured in the headlines of all the key Italian sports activities papers as information spread of the seriousness of his accident.
“No Alex, no!” stated Corrierre dello Sport, whilst Italian prime minister Giusseppe Conte wrote on Twitter: “Arrive on Alex # Zanardi, don’t give up. All of Italy is preventing with you.”
Zanardi raced for Jordan, Minardi and Lotus in F1 ahead of a productive switch to CART racing in the US where he was collection champion in 1997 and 1998.
He returned to F1 with Williams for a person year in 1999 ahead of returning to the CART collection.
It was in that method that he endured his infamous 320kmh crash at Lausitzring in Germany in September 2001, escaping with his lifetime, but getting rid of the two his legs.
In an unbelievable present of dedication and spirit, Zanardi tailored to his prosthetic legs and returned to contend in the European Touring Vehicle Championship in 2003, driving for BMW.
But it was for his exploits on a handbike that the male from Bologna has turn into finest recognized to a around the globe viewers, winning several medals at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics and globe championships.
He was in education for this year’s Tokyo Paralympics, hoping to add to his extraordinary tally of gold medals, right up until it was postponed.
Zanardi has also competed in grueling Ironman triathlon races, location a new environment most effective for a Paralympic athlete at a race in Italy past September as properly as continuing to race specially-tailored BMWs in a variety of stamina motorsport gatherings.
Messages of assistance have arrive flooding in across the sporting world, with former F1 environment champion and Indy Vehicle legend Mario Andretti composing: “I am so nervous and frightened about Alex Zanardi that I am keeping my breath. I am his lover. I am his close friend.
“You should do what I am accomplishing and pray, pray for for this amazing guy,” he tweeted.
“Alex is a single of life’s genuinely inspirational individuals and as we all know, a fighter as a result of and by. Continue to be powerful and Forza Alex,” his previous Williams group posted on Twitter.
“Struggle as you know how to do it, Alex. You are a quite excellent guy, courage,” Ferrari star Charles Leclerc tweeted in Italian.