Alex Zanardi's Paralympic dream continues with another gold medal

The former Formula 1 driver lost his legs in a crash in 2001

Alex Zanardi's Paralympic dream continues with another gold medal

Picture by: Andrew Matthews / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Paralympic athletes come in all shapes and sizes. Some may have been born with a disability, while others through life experiences may have ended up becoming Paralympians by chance.

One of those who became a Paralympian by chance was Alex Zanardi. The 49-year-old former Formula 1 driver had both of his legs amputated in 2001 after a high speed crash in America. The crash resulted in Zanardi losing three-quarters of his blood, and lost both legs from the knee down as a result.

After his racing career ended, Zanardi took up hand-cycling and won two Paralympic gold medals at Brand's Hatch in 2012. He had previously raced cars at the circuit before winning the H4 time-trial and road race.

One of the most iconic photos of London 2012 came when he lifted his hand-bike in triumph after winning gold.

Alex Zanardi at London 2012. Picture by: Alastair Grant / AP/Press Association Images

On Wednesday afternoon he won his third gold winning the H5 time-trial. On Thursday he looks to win the road race at Pontal.

15-years ago to the day, Zanardi crashed and lost his legs in 2001. 2016 could see him mark that anniversary in the best possible way with another Paralympic medal.

It's an amazing story that shows the power of rehabilitation through sport.