Alex Zanardi, critically injured in a hand cycle crash in June, is showing additional signs of recovery. He has received multiple cranial and facial surgeries since the accident.

Just a few days before Christmas, the Italian publication Corriere della Sera reported that Zanardi has regained sight and hearing, can respond to questions with gestures, and recognizes his wife Daniela.

Multiple U.S. reports based on the Corriere della Sera story indicate that the medical team has kept a hole open in Zanardi’s trachea as a precaution in case he needs help breathing, When the hole is closed, the team will attempt to restore his speech. The team is encouraged by Zanardi’s progress, and is hopeful about him recovery of most of his brain function.

Zanardi, who lost his legs in an IndyCar incident in 2001, returned to racing and also went on to win multiple Paralympic gold medals on a hand cycle. He has been a competitor and brand ambassador for BMW for a number of years.—Brian Morgan

[Photo courtesy BMW Motorsport.]

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