Alessandro "Alex" Zanardi (born October 23, 1966) is an Italian racing driver and paracyclist.
He won two CART championship titles in North America during the late 1990s. He also had a less successful career as a Formula One driver. More recently, he has attracted widespread praise for his return to competition in the aftermath of a crash in 2001 that resulted in the amputation of his legs. He returned to racing less than two years after the accident, competing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship for BMW Team Italy-Spain between 2003 and 2009.
Switching sports, Zanardi took up competition in handbiking, a form of paralympic cycling, with the stated goal of representing Italy at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. In September 2011, Zanardi won his first senior international handbiking medal, the silver medal in the H4 (Handbike) category time trial at the UCI World Road Para-Cycling Championships.
Alex Zanardi was born in Bologna, Italy and moved with his family to the village of Castel Maggiore on the outskirts of the city when he was four. His sister was a promising swimmer until her death in an automobile collision.
Zanardi began racing karts at the age of 13. In 1988, he joined...