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A True Hero…

September 28th, 2016 · No Comments

While Nations use Athletes to promote their cause, pump thou chest and chant I’m the Bestest; as the din of U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A rings in Thy ears…

With Brazil having just finally snuffed out the Olympic flame after it’s somewhat contentious holding of said games, where rightfully the No. 2 event, the Paralympics banned Russia from competing due to its illicit doping practices, how many of Y’all watched the Paralympics?

As I could go on about how one presidential candidates’ touting Trumping her opponent over suddenly caring about the Disabled. Or how one nation erroneously kept one of its own athlete’s from boarding a flight home with his prosthesis; Uhm, Butterfingers!

Or how some storied athletes I once coveted here on these Sportyblog pages have gone Splat! By severely falling from grace, those being named Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius.

Yet instead, this is intended to be a story about one of my true Heroes in life, who I’ve had the ultra good fortune of meeting once very briefly at Mother Speedway no less! Since after all I first became aware of him do to his amazing speed upon the racetrack of Portland International Raceway, where ironically he won his maiden IndyCar race twenty years ago this summer, and then proceeded to win the IndyCar championship the following two years consecutively.

Yet it was thru his Horrific motor racing accident which nearly cost him his life fifteen years ago, just four days after something simply known as 9-11, that the man I now affectionately call ‘El Zorro’, aka Alex Zanardi’s true character was born. Having attempted to chronicle this Wayback in the fall of 2012 on these very pages.

A Look back at one of the Unheralded Athletes competing in this year’s Paralympics…

Yet it’s funny how life goes on, since after the unexpected pleasure of having Zanardi walk across the fabled Pitlane expanse of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a year later to “Meet & Greet” me during the Pit stop contest on Carb Day, 2013, which will probably always be my Numero Uno memory of visiting the Speedway!

Celebrity Hobbsnobbing at IMS

Naturally I lost track of what this most affable Italian was up to, until of hearing of his latest exploits first upon Speed Freaks in the waning days of 2014, after Alex had just contested the Kona Ironman event. As this guy is just truly amazing!

Zanardi continues to Amaze!

For which I then found his appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman Online, which sadly seemed to have disappeared after Letterman’s retirement.

As Alex was his typical, unflappable unassuming self, noting how people were wildly cheering for him whilst he was swearing underneath his breath as the sweat off his hands in the Hawaiian heat was making it very impractical to get any traction upon his wheelchair’s wheels to propel him up the steep grade!

Yet in typical fashion, he settled upon a cadence to propel himself by (supposedly) counting to 333, wryly musing to Mr. Letterman in his Italian brogue how it has a nice ring! Which presumably, only us Diehard motor racing Aficionados would know is the model number of the most beautiful Ferrari 333SP, a brilliant twelve cylinder Sports Prototype racing car which won America’s two greatest endurance events, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Sebring 12 hours during the 1990’s; but I digress…

And having decided to not watch any of this year’s Summer Olympics, along with the Paralympics, I was totally unaware that Zanardi, now 49, who’ll celebrate his 50th birthday shortly on October 23rd, was once again participating in this year’s games in his preferred discipline of Handbiking until hearing the news he’d won again. Capturing his third gold medal ironically just hours before the anniversary of his horrific life threatening Shunt where he lost his legs at the former East Germany’s Lausitzring.

Alex Zanardi continues Amazing Us 15 years later…

Alas, in typical Big Box media news cycle lore, Zanardi served his purpose of triumphing near the anniversary of said accident, NO! Not 9-11 but his Shunt at the Lausitzring, silly’s… And thus as typical, there seemingly was little follow-up upon his capturing a fourth gold medal! As Zanardi’s just one of the countless person’s on the globe who continue to amaze us with their willingness to overcome their perceived disabilities…

Zanardi claims another gold medal in Brazil

Tags: Racing · Misc · Uncategorized

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