1. In 2001, Formula One/CART driver Alex Zanardi lost both of his legs in this gruesome crash. But he survived.
Following the accident, Zanardi decided to continue racing. Unfortunately, the prosthetics available to the driver left something to be desired. So he designed and built his own.
2. In 2005, Zanardi won his first post-crash race in Germany.
He would go onto win many more times over the next few years, but those wins came in touring cars. Zanardi attempted to come back to Formula One racing, but after a trial with a car specifically designed to have controls on the steering wheel, he was unable to compete at the high level he was accustomed to. So he reinvented himself as a handcyclist.
3. After years of racing on the handcycle, the Italian went to London for the Paralympics. Yesterday he won gold in the men’s Individual H4 Time Trial, and then triumphantly lifted his bike above his head.
That’s what we call a defining image.