Alex Zanardi has been airlifted to hospital after being involved in a serious accident while taking part in the Paralympic handbike ‘Obiettivo tricolore’ relay race on Friday, according to reports in Italy.
Siena’s Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital has confirmed that the 53-year-old is undergoing surgery for severe head injuries.
It is believed that Zanardi's collision was with a truck after his handbike slipped off the path he was riding on at roughly 6 PM local time in Tuscany.
In 2001, Zanardi was involved in a major collision at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, which resulted in his two legs being amputated.
Following his accident, Zanardi became a Paralympic athlete, winning gold medals at the London 2012 and the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Support has been flooding in for Zanardi all evening, with F1 world champion Mario Andretti stating: “I am so anxious and frightened about Alex Zanardi that I'm holding my breath. I am his fan. I am his friend. Please do what I'm doing and pray for this wonderful man.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing