Zanardi to remain in a coma until at least next week

By Mark Glendenning of

Alex Zanardi will remain in an induced coma until at least next week while he continues to receive treatment for severe head injuries sustained in a hand cycling accident in Pienza, Italy on Friday.

The 53-year-old lost control on a descent during a road race and collided with a truck traveling on the opposite direction. He was airlifted to the Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital, where he underwent three hours of neurosurgery and maxillofacial surgery.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the hospital said that Zanardi remains in a stable condition in its intensive care unit.

“The neurological picture remains unchanged in its severity,” the update said. “The patient remains sedated, intubated and mechanically ventilated. Any reductions in sedoanalgesia, for the assessment of neurological status, will be considered starting next week.” According to the hospital, Zanardi’s prognosis remains “confidential”.

An immensely popular symbol of CART’s ‘golden era’, Zanardi became a worldwide symbol of inspiration when he recovered from the loss of both legs in a catastrophic accident at the Lausitzring to not only stage a motorsport comeback, but also begin a second career in handbike racing that has yielded four Paralympic gold medals and a win at the New York Marathon.