Zanardi wins emotional hand-cycling gold at Brands Hatch
In the early 1990s Italian Alex Zanardi used to speed around the famous racing track at Brands Hatch in very different circumstances to those he has at the 2012 Games. The former Formula 1 racer first competed on the iconic British circuit at a Formula 3000 driver 21 years ago. However, he was involved in a devastating crash in the 2001 CART championship in Lausitz, Switzerland, which saw his car sliced in two by another travelling at 200mph. Following the crash, he lost three quarters of the blood in his body, both of his legs, spent a week in a medically-induced coma, and was being read the last rites in the helicopter flying him to the hospital.
He has since turned his life around through hand cycling and, on a late summerâs afternoon on a circuit that was so familiar to him from his former life, stormed to a sensational gold in the H4 hand cycling time trial. The great man celebrated by holding his lightweight bike aloft above his head and told reporters: "This is a great accomplishment, one of the greatest of my life. I've had a magical adventure and this is a fantastic conclusion."