Alex Zanardi: Olympic gold medalist, hero

At the height of his powers as a race car driver, Alex Zanardi used to put on breathtaking displays of sheer genius and artistry, such as this notable victory:

He would then celebrate the sweetness of victory with a healthy serving of doughnuts, to wit:

So if you're Alex Zanardi and you win a gold medal at the London Paralympics, what do you do to celebrate now that everyone and his brother does doughnuts these days?

Why, that's easy: you raise your latest racing machine over your head and pump the sky with utter joy!

I wrote about this inspirational man called Alex Zanardi and what he means to me just the other week.  Well, today he won a gold medal at the London Paralympics.  An incredible feat for any 45 year old in an endurance event, let alone someone who has been through what's he's been though.  I honestly can't say that I admire him more today than ever, because he's my hero, plain and simple.  I'm just happy to see that good guys do win, and that hard work, perseverance, and tenacity do in fact pay off.

And I'm not the only one — here's what Mario Andretti had to say today on Twitter:

"Alex Zanardi Olympic Gold & I can't stop laughing, crying, cheering.

Purely extraordinary what he's capable of. I love you man!"

Yeah, me too.