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Ex-F1 racer and Paralympian who lost his legs in crash now in hospital after villa fire – The Mirror

Alex Zanardi represented several teams as a Formula 1 driver, before losing his legs following a crash and later making a heroic comeback as a Paralympic champion at London 2012
Former Formula 1 racer and four-time Paralympic champion Alex Zanardi has been moved to a medical centre following a fire at his villa, according to Italian media.
Zanardi raced for the likes of Jordan, Minardi, Lotus and Williams across two spells in the 1990s, but later lost his legs in a horrific crash while racing in Champ Cars. The Italian 'died' seven times as doctors scrambled to save him, and was eventually revived.
Despite the double amputation, he later returned to racing in the World Touring Cars before switching to para-cycling. That proved to be his real forte as he took gold medals at London 2012 and repeated the trick four years later in Rio.
But disaster struck in June 2020, when he was in another major crash while racing in his home country. After undergoing brain surgery and being placed in a coma, he spent 18 months in hospital before finally returning home around Christmas last year.
It seems his bad luck has continued, though, as Rai News reported a fire broke out on Tuesday afternoon at his villa in Noventa Padovana, near Venice. The flames did not spread to the house itself, thanks to the intervention of firefighters, but the report says medical machinery which helps Zanardi to live did sustain damage.
As a result, the 55-year-old has been moved to a hospital in Vicenza as a precaution. He is not believed to have suffered any injuries as a direct result of the blaze.
Zanardi's comeback was one of the best stories of the London 2012 Games, as the ex-F1 driver took gold in the road race and time trial. He repeated his time trial success four years later in Brazil, while also adding another gold in the mixed team relay and winning silver in the road race, 15 years to the day after the crash that claimed his legs.
As well as his success in para-cycling, Zanardi was also keen to continue his motorsport career. He raced touring cars in the 2000s before switching to GTs in 2014, and was even a guest driver in the German series DTM for two races in 2018.
Speaking about his last hospital ordeal following that 2020 crash, his wife Daniela said: "He is a fighter, but in this year and a half, with Covid in the hospital and in the clinic, we have been able to stay close to him. Now returning to his family will do him good and will help him fight even more."
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