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Celebrating the diverse diversities!

Oct 28, 2012

Indian born lady in the driving seat@F1

The announcement of Dehra Dun born Monisha Kaltenborn’s elevation as the Sauber team Principal, close to the Indian F1 event, is bound to evoke tremendous interest. In a sport presently dominated by men, this is indeed a welcome break. And why not when you are F1’s first ever woman team principal. All eyes now on who will succeed the F1 key man Bernie Eccelstone. Could it be his daughter? A lady and of Indian origin indeed constitutes wonderful form of diversity and deserves all the media glare that it has rightfully received. “It is a lot of responsibility because if you mess it up it is even worse than if a man were to do that”, Monisha was recently quoted on the BBC Sports.

Triumph of human spirit

However, there is something else that has an interesting linkage with the F1, which also deserves to be recognized and celebrated. It is a story of triumph of human spirit. The hero is Alex Zanardi. “While he was never able to reach the heights of success in F1 – Zanardi never made the podium in 44 races – he is a champion Paralympian”.

“In 2001 the ex-Formula One driver was at death’s door, lucky to survive a horrific accident that left him with only 30% of his blood supply. He lost both his legs – amputated at the knee – after being pulled from a wreckage of his car at a race in Germany”.

“Having failed to make a career in F1 after four difficult seasons, he turned to the US CART series where he twice won the drivers’ title for Chip Ganassi’s team”.

“That earned him a return to the elite division of motorsport in 1999 with the Williams team, but again he struggled”.

“Drifting back to open-wheel cars, fate came calling at the Euro Speedway Lausitz on September15, 2001. He had worked his way up from the rear of the field to lead the race with 13 laps to go before the life – changing  crash”.

“Given the severity of his injuries, the doctors at the scene of the accident said Zanardi should never have survived”.

Zanardi not only survived but discovered hand cycling. It all culminated with him winning a gold medal in his adopted sport at Britain’s Brands Hatch circuit at the recent Paralympics, aged 45 years! Some form of diversity whilst tackling adversity!



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