Okayama: Alex Zanardi newsletter 2009-10-29

LETTER FROM A FRIEND Life is like running in a field full of plunges to take. Even if you know that someone else already did that, it can happen that you hesitate while in front of the difficult jumps for the fear of not making it. Due to my ...

LETTER FROM A FRIEND

Life is like running in a field full of plunges to take. Even if you know that someone else already did that, it can happen that you hesitate while in front of the difficult jumps for the fear of not making it. Due to my disposition, I do this rarely, but when people supports me the way Giampaolo did with his letter (he touched me), all doubts vanish at once.

Giampaolo, I was delighted so much from your letter that I decided to put it on the home page... thanks!

27 October 2009 PIERPAOLO GELUSSI: Zanardi conquers Venice The thirtieth kilometer, the ascent is that of the hill of the beautiful park of San Giuliano, the smell is that of the brackish air of the lagoon mixed with that of some fragrant bush. Venice seems close from up here, just round the corner. No repetitive circuit for Him, no start to get right, no opponent to intimidate by means of bumper blows in the rear, no net nor concrete barriers to separate him from his fans. Only grit and willpower. The very same mixture of elements that an evening of 7 years ago saw him leaving the hug of an awkward wheelchair to get back on his feet in front of the entire world, with it still believing he did not have feet anymore.

Today, only sweat, pain in the arms and short of breath is for Him. Kids applauding, women cheering, men with their tough exterior and tender heart, they know his history and fight themselves to hide watery eyes and the lump in their throats. After the uphill and the ride on the hill, the downhill will unavoidably arrive. This is one that will never make history, this will only share the Lagoon with that of the legendary Corkscrew.

Veneta, not Seca.

A downhill that will not surprise any opponent, will not make you short of breath. On the contrary, it will allow you to breath, to relax you for forty-odd meters. Just a bit less than a thousand of the entire marathon. Today I am at the park with my older daughter and my faithful camera. We wait the arrival of the Driver dejected by Fate and put back on feet by his Character, of the Father whose hand I managed to shake in a cold Bolognese afternoon, of the Man who had to face uphills much steeper than this one.

Suddenly, the Police bike arrives, a couple of siren sounds, a flashing light. Alex enters the park with the great Mauro in his slipstream. Both of them are fast, incredibly fast. "Zanna" negotiates every single corner with the typical grit of the Driver, closing every possible door to the rival, crossing every intermediate at the lead. He clocks up the up and down sections of the park in a couple of minutes, leaving everyone amazed by the mix of speed, suffering and tenacity showed in the rapid passage. As foreseen, more than a few among the fans look for an handkerchief that's not there, a lot cheer up the two, someone realizes to be speechless.

Then comes the very long straight of the Liberty Bridge, Venice and its horizon closer and closer, fourteen bridges, San Marco square, the arrival as absolute Ruler. With automatic gestures I check the pictures still "hot" of the passage while my daughter asks for my attention.

"Daddy, who is Zanardi?"

"What he is you mean. A Man with capital M, a Driver with balls, an example for everyone, a Myth for a lot of people.

For me too."

-credit: alex-zanardi.com

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