Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Ironman

Race Car Champion, Paralympian To Take On Ironman

Former race car driver, and now challenged athlete, Alex Zanardi will compete at the 2014 Ironman World Championship on Oct. 11.

For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.

Former race car driver, and now challenged athlete, Alex Zanardi will compete at the 2014 Ironman World Championship on Oct. 11.

Alex Zanardi is an inspiration, even if he doesn’t know it or admit it. He turned a disaster into awe, his private pain into public revelation. A racecar driver—and a legendary one at that—he turned a life-altering injury into exalting triumph.

If life is meant to be lived, then Zanardi is our benchmark. A crash in 2001 took the two-time CART champion’s legs but gave him a gift he can’t quite define, nor can anyone else. He lived through it with a zeal most able-bodied people can’t muster, returning to racing and winning Paralympic gold.

“It would be completely wrong and arrogant of me to say that this is what I am, an inspiration to others,” Zanardi told USA TODAY Sports. “During the course of my recovery, I bumped into people with amazing stories, far more amazing than mine.”

Now Zanardi is ready to add another chapter to his story. After an extensive interview process, the 47-year-old native of Italy has been cleared to participate in the Ironman World Championship triathlon Oct. 11 in Hawaii.

Read more: Usatoday.com