Paralympics

Alex Zanardi out of ICU, making 'significant improvements' after handbike crash

Italian auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medallist Alex Zanardi was again released from intensive care on Wednesday after showing "significant improvements."

Paralympian, who suffered serious facial and head trauma, had been on ventilator

Italian auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medallist Alex Zanardi is out of intensive care following a serious handbike crash in June led to three surgeries. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images for IRONMAN/File)

Italian auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medallist Alex Zanardi was again released from intensive care on Wednesday after showing "significant improvements."

Zanardi was moved back into intensive care last month, just three days after being transferred to a neurological rehabilitation centre. He was seriously injured in a handbike crash in June.

"The patient has responded with significant clinical improvements," read a statement from the Milan hospital where he is being treated.

"For that reason he is currently being treated with semi intensive care at the Operational Unit of Neurorianimation."

Zanardi underwent three delicate surgeries at a hospital in Siena to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face after crashing into an oncoming truck during a relay event near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19.

The 53-year-old Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago, had been on a ventilator in a medically induced coma since the crash.

He suffered serious facial and cranial trauma, and doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

Zanardi won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.

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