ROME — Paralympic champion Alex Zanardi was very seriously hurt once again in a handbike crash on Friday — virtually 20 many years immediately after losing both of his legs in a horrific car racing incident.

Zanardi was transported by helicopter to Santa Maria alle Scotte healthcare facility in Siena adhering to an incident near the Tuscan town of Pienza throughout a national race for Paralympic athletes, law enforcement explained to The Associated Push.

He reportedly endured significant head trauma.

“You’ve by no means provided up and with your extraordinary strength in just you have overcome a thousand troubles. Forza Alex Zanardi,” Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte tweeted. “Don’t give up. All of Italy is with you.”

A Carabinieri law enforcement formal in Montepulciano claimed the incident included a “heavy car.” The formal did not give his name as per regional custom.

Community Television set at the scene of the crash showed what was seemingly Zanardi’s handbike lying on its facet and lacking two of its three wheels. A significant truck pulling a semitrailer appeared parked on the street forward.

“It happened on a a little bit downhill straightaway just just before a slight curve in the street,” national group mentor Mario Valentini, who was adhering to the race, explained to La Repubblica Florence. “Alex veered a little bit into the oncoming lane just when a truck came. (The truck) tried to swerve but could not keep away from the crash.

Repubblica claimed Zanardi remained conscious until medical staff arrived, and that he was respiration by himself.

“Twenty minutes handed from the time of the incident to when the medical staff arrived. It took some time to load him (into the ambulance). His wife aided. Just after the incident he was talking,” Valentini included in a further interview with regional media.

Valentini claimed he was not an eyewitness to the incident but arrived at the scene right away afterward.

“It was a sunny working day and anyone was happy. We have been 20 kilometers (twelve miles) from (the finish line) in Montalcino,” Valentini claimed. “The truck did not make a mistake. Alex designed the mistake.”

The mentor included Zanardi’s helmet came off throughout the crash.

Racing fantastic Mario Andretti tweeted, “I am so anxious and frightened about Alex Zanardi that I’m holding my breath. I am his enthusiast. I am his good friend. You should do what I’m accomplishing and pray pray (for) this wonderful guy.”

Zanardi gained four gold medals in handbike at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics.

The fifty three-year-previous Zanardi misplaced his legs in a horrific crash throughout a 2001 CART race in Germany.

At the time, Zanardi was a two-time CART champion who experienced lately returned from a second stint in Method One particular and experienced plowed by the area to guide laps for the initial time considering the fact that he’d still left the collection immediately after his 1998 title. The crash happened when Zanardi spun his auto immediately after a pit halt and he was hit by a further driver. Equally legs have been severed at influence.

Zanardi was an recognized racing star just before the incident, and his achievements considering the fact that transcend sports. An inspirational determine with an indomitable spirit, he made his individual prosthetics — he jokes he designed himself taller — and learned to walk once again. Then he returned to racing in touring automobiles. Just after that came hand biking, a course victory in the New York Metropolis Marathon and Paralympic glory.

Final year, Zanardi competed in the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race, driving in a race for the initial time without prosthetics. He used a specific steering wheel made for him by BMW that authorized him to generate with hand levers.

“He has seven life,” Valentini claimed. “Like cats.”

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