Driven by destiny: Zanardi wins the race of his life to take gold

Story highlights

  • Ex-Formula One driver Alex Zanardi claims gold medal in hand cycling at the London 2012 Paralympics
  • He lost both his legs in a horrific crash in 2001 but continued in motorsport
  • Italian first tried hand cycling in 2007 and made it his new career two years later
  • The 45-year-old says he has made the most of the chances fate has given him
"It's been a magical adventure, and this is a fantastic conclusion."
Not many people get second chances in life, but Alex Zanardi is making the most of his.
In 2001 the ex-Formula One driver was at death's door, lucky to survive a horrific accident that left him with only 30% of his blood supply. He lost both his legs -- amputated at the knee -- after being pulled from the wreckage of his car at a race in Germany.
Fast forward more than a decade, to another race track, and the Italian is on top of the world.
While he was never able to reach the heights of success in F1 -- Zanardi never made the podium in 44 races -- he is a champion Paralympian.
"I'm somebody very lucky who had a great life," the the 45-year-old Zanardi said after winning gold in his adopted sport of hand cycling at Britain's Brands Hatch circuit on Wednesday.