Alex Zanardi: Dreams achieved
A little like Kennedy, it was the “shot that was heard around the world”. Alex Zanardi, aged 45, made his paralympic debut, and won two gold medals, and a silver… ‘Extraordinary’, ‘inspiring’ are just two of the words describing Alex’s performances. And rightly so.
Hopefully you will have read the three parts building up to Alex Zanardi’s Paralympic debut . If anyone had any doubts about the former Indycar Champion and Formula 1 racer taking on the might of the handcycle division, think again.
The Italian’s performances at Brands Hatch in the Paralympics have elevated Zanardi from “Legend” to “Super Legend”, as the world followed his progress as he chased gold. Optimism just does not even scratch the surface of the man that is Alex Zanardi.
ITV in the UK did an interview with Alex after his first win in full. Click here for a brilliant 10 minute insight to the Italian, and his mindset, because I guarantee it is vastly different to yours and mine. If you need to know why he is different, watch this interview with him after winning his first gold medal. Sit back, and be inspired.
Don’t take my word for what Alex achieved with his gold and silver medals. The world was watching, and Twitter went into overdrive when he won the first gold…. I’ve rattled on enough about his achievements, so here are messages from the great , the good (and sometimes ugly!) from all around the world within hours of his first gold medal victory. Here is just a selection of the messages.
My heart is pounding so fast for Alex Zanardi @lxznr it feels like I’m the one in the race. Hope he’s having as much fun as I think he is. I couldn’t be prouder of Alex Zanardi if he was my own son. So glad to have seen this day. What an incredible thing we are witnessing
Olympic Gold & I can’t stop laughing, crying, cheering. Purely extraordinary what he’s capable of. I love you man! @lxzn
Lewis Hamilton @LewisHamilton
Alex Zanardi is an incredible inspirational man
Congratulations @lxznr second gold, we are very proud of you. Fantastic!!
Tony Kanaan @TonyKanaan
I would say the next step for Zanardi @lxznr is, Run for President…..ahahahaha. Amazing…
Arrived in Monza to the amazing news that Alex Zanardi has won a Paralympic Gold. He really is an incredible inspiration and the nicest guy
Now there’s a real man, what an amazing character, attitude and personality, just astonishing what determination and positivity!! An example for us all, Thanks Alex!!
Gold medal for Alex Zanardi @lxznr !!!! Well done my friend
Fantastic, Fantastic, Fantastic!!! Wohoo ZANARDI!!!!!! Congrats @lxznr. You are THE BEST!!!
One of, if not the image of the day: Alex Zanardi, Paralympic champion http://bit.ly/NRAXXd”
@lxznr Alex, many congrats, you deserve every accolade available to a man…abraço, Gil
BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO Alex, you are my hero!! @lxznr Indy 500 next!! vai vai!!
Alex Zanardi does it again! Double Paralympic champion. And champion of life.
Landed in Italy to the news @lxznr has won Gold in the time trial at Brands. Is there nothing that incredible man can’t do?
Wow! @lxznr is Olympic champion, what an achievement and have to say huge congrats to him & his family. The man is incredible! Not a dry eye in the house.
congrats to @lxznr for his gold medal. You are an amazing person.
Amazing amazing amazing @lxznr Tremendous result.
Rock on Alex Zanardi
AND IT’S GOLD FOR @lxznr …… FANTASTIC MY FRIEND.
Wherever they are, whatever they’re doing, everyone who ever met @lxznr in his previous life will be standing up to applaud him today.
Gold for Zanardi. One of many inspirational stories . He won it handsomely – like a true racer. Brilliant.
Can’t stay quiet on the news of Alex Zanardi’s success at Paralympics. Congratulations @lxznr you are a true hero and an inspiration.
Absolutely delighted as Alex Zanardi takes the gold medal at the Paralympics! Well done @lxznr great job!!
@lxznr GOLD in time trial. Way to GOLD!!!!
Great job Alex
“Every time we think, ‘that’s it, it’s over,’ we surprise ourselves and find inner resources in our heart.” Alex Zanardi
So happy for Alex Zanardi @lxznr– Paralympic Champion! Gold in hand-bike time trial!Congratulations to an extraordinary&inspirational man!
Awesome!! One of a kind!
Congratulations @lxznr on winning gold this afternoon absolutely brilliant race 27secs clear just fantastic
So awesome @lxznr winning a gold medal in the paralympics! One of the greatest sportmen!
Congratulations to Alex Zanardi @lxznr on Paralympic Gold!!
@lxznr Congratulazioni! Sei grandissimo e ti miro da sempre!
Big congrats to Alex Zanardi @lxznr for wining gold at the Paraolimpics in London at Brands Hatch, you are so special amigo FANTASTIC!!!!
Fantastic job @lxznr alex !!! You are a inspiration to all !!!!
@lxznr Alex, amazing stuff, just amazing, arguably your finest achievement. Congratulations from JP and family.
This is what elite sports people are made of! So happy for Alex
Nothing Alex does surprises me anymore. He is a tremendous person and true ‘racer’ at heart. Whether it’s Indy cars or hand bikes, Alex has always been a terrific competitor.
Chip’s quote is the best place to finish, as the chapter of the remarkable Alex Zanardi story, and racing is racing still on-going. And that will be the next challenge. The respect Alex has, and has since earned cannot be valued. Just take time to appreciate a very special person. The Indy 500 with Chip in May 2013? Do NOT bet against it.
Extremely special thanks to Ralph Hardwick for his photos documenting Alex’s Paralympic journey, and some wonderful images.