Bologna, December 2001. Motor Show, celebrating the golden helmets for the F. 1, in the audience, as Michael Schumacher with all the Ferrari’s, veterans from the second world title in a row. And lots and lots of fans. And then the surprise. The curtain opens and enters in a wheelchair pushed by dr. Costa. Sitting, smiling gaze, Alex Zanardi salutes the ovation of the public. Daniela looks at him with proud eyes, and when Alex rises to his feet, on the artificial dentures, just three months after the serious accident on the Lausitzring, he shakes his head, smiles and turns to the journalist and friend: “I know that this return to running” the say. “He also knows me also knows that isn’t limited to the car, she has the face of the person you will invent something”.
The words of the wife have been prophetic, and that he, what he said at the time? “Look, the effort I do it because I want to keep on your shoulders my son, Nicholas, would be the greatest satisfaction of my life”. It is taken from this and many other satisfactions. Have passed 19 years of age and that something has taken world titles in the Handbike, a difficult category where the physique has to pump a lot, but for Alex to feel the physical effort was positive, it was something beautiful. Dramatically truncated by the accident of Pienza. Tell Alex it is easy and difficult at the same time. A well of anecdotes, stories, suffering, and humiliation. Overcome by the obstinacy of those who never gives up. If Gilles Villeneuve the motto was to never give up, to Alex Zanardi, you don’t even need to say it.
Just look at what has been able to do with a life that is truncated to half. The legs from the side, with the rest of the car was destroyed, and him out of here. Hanging with the life: “Just woke up in the hospital I have concentrated on what was left, not about what I lost.” And always see things from the positive side has always been his figure competitions. The years 1988 and 89, the arrival of the F. 3 with a group of wild devils, which then came all or almost all in F. 1. Him with the kart has won us, and the father that the fixing bolts, clasped screws, regulated carburetor. And when there was to do the races in the evening travel to Varano or Misano Adriatico, after the tests in F. 3, the take with journalists and mechanics. “I trained by. What do you want to be a sportellata”. It’s ok, in the meantime, the ribs shattered, his legs filled with bruises, and the desire to make a slap in the face was great, but then you looked in his eyes good and scoppiavi laughing like a madman, until the next challenge.
The passing of the years, made his debut in F. 1, the serious accident in Spa, the disappointments of a world made of money and recommendations. “Soccia have to remember that I pulled,” he said after the exit to Eau Rouge. “I made the zanardata usual, it went well”. The zanardata was something unique, a sudden maneuver and out of the box. He said at Vallelunga, with the F. 3, taken the car for a breath after a intraversata from fear to Trench, bend counterslope: “you Know how it is, I do exceptional things, or I do good, or to combine them in a disaster, the classic zanardata…”. That time had gone well, and other. Except that, in 2001, in Germany, to return with the F. Indy. The return in F. 1 in 1998, the Williams was a disaster.
In the box, until late at night, we saw fiddling with the steering wheel buttons, search for the optimal position with that of the single-seater that wasn’t good in any case: “you See, it’s all the fault of my father,” he said in the pits in Barcelona – I have inherited these hands huge, that with the flying and the frets did not go well. If I had the hands of a fairy, I could use them better, so there, I throw in all over the world. But from my father I inherited the strength, so if it goes wrong, bend the steering wheel and I can fix it my way” and ended with a laugh cheerful and the few mechanics to look at him, amazed, because to laugh, there was nothing.
His attitude, his availability and always see the positive side of life has made him a champion beloved by the crowds. The fighter who does not give up, who wins the challenges and remains human. In Budrio, where they mounted the first prosthetics, was on the ward with other children with disabilities and almost felt ashamed because of him, Zanardi, he was rich, famous and well-known and, in the end, the loss of the legs with respect to the problems of others was a small thing. Altruistic, even after years, always ready to give a help, a support, a positive message. That message that today, millions of fans to his bedside, turn to him and this is yet another challenge. Another zanardata from bring to an end. And start with the grit that only he has been able to inspire so many that have elected it as a myth to imitate in the daily fight to handicap. Forza Alex, we are all with you.