Alex Zanardi’s gold medal comeback voted top Paralympic sporting moment

Alex Zanardi

Former F1 driver Alex Zanardi's incredible comeback to win two gold medals as a handcyclist at London 2012 has been picked as the top Paralympic sporting moment of the past year.

It is now 11 years since Zanardi lost his legs and almost his life after a horror crash in the American Memorial 500 Cart event in Germany.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) picked Zanardi's performance as the top sporting moment of 2012.

They chose from a calendar of amazing sporting achievement both at and beyond the London 2012 Paralympics.

The 46-year-old Italian won gold in the men's individual H4 time trial and road race as a handcyclist at Brands Hatch, 21 years after racing there as an F1 driver.

He also won a silver as part of Italy's mixed team relay H1-4 at London 2012.

Only two British events made it in to the IPC's top 50 Paralympic sport moments.

Table tennis player David Wetherill said he was "proud" his diving forehand during the Paralympics – dubbed the Superman shot – came in at number four.

London 2012's closing ceremony for the Paralympics is at number 10.

Wetherill, 23, from Cornwall, described making the top 10 in such a strong year for Paralympic sport as "really cool".

He said: "London 2012 was a pretty special thing to be part of and the fact that so many people have seen the shot is hard to believe.

"Hearing that I came in ahead of the Paralympic closing ceremony and all the British athletes who won medals really puts it in to perspective.

"Maybe it will help me to work hard for 2016, produce more shots like that and then next time get a medal."

The moments were selected by nominations from National Paralympic Committees and International Federations.

They were based on sport performance, emotional moments, media attraction and athletes' personal stories.

The shock victory by Brazilian Alan Oliveira over South African favorite Oscar Pistorius in the 200m T44 sprint in London came in at number two.

Spanish swimmer Teresa Perales giving her Paralympic gold to her two-year-old son Mariano was number three.

Perales now has 22 Paralympic medals after winning a gold, three silvers and two bronzes in London to add to the 16 she had won at the previous three Games.

Canada's wheelchair rugby team upsetting USA in the semi-finals at the London 2012 Paralympics came in at number five.

IPC president Sir Philip Craven said: "The year 2012 will go down as one of the greatest ever for the Paralympic Movement.

"The London 2012 Paralympic Games produced thousands of moments that captured billions of viewers' attention and put sport for persons with an impairment into the mainstream media."

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