Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Fortis
Rarely do we get to see or hear what charitable work Formula One drivers do in their spare time. It is a part of their life that’s rarely, if ever, covered by mainstream media. Last night current World Champion Lewis Hamilton appeared on popular BBC talk show, the Graham Norton Show. During the broadcast he revealed that earlier in the week he was made ambassador for the Invictus Games by Prince Harry.
The Invictus Games was first hosted on in 2014 from September 10th to 14th in London. It is dedicated to severely wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 400 personnels from 13 different countries come together to participate in various sporting events under the banner “I Am“.
Hamilton spoke about upon his appointment, of his visit Tedworth House to meet with some of the wounded veterans and to celebrate being the games first official ambassador. Hamilton also commented on how injured servicemen and women are using sport as a form of therapy to overcome their current situation and while visiting he played a game of wheelchair basketball.
One former Royal Navy marine engineer AJ Pingram comented, “He seemed genuinely interested in how we’re using sport as part of our recovery process and he definitely gave us a run for our money during the wheelchair basketball match.”
Being disabled or severely wounded does not mean life is over for these men and women, it does not mean that they are no longer able to participate in the sport they love, just asked ex Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi.
The Italian lost both legs after an horrendous crash in 2001 at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz on 15 September. In 2003, Zanardi was racing again, with the aid of hand-operated brake and accelerator controls. He ceremonially drove thirteen laps at the Lausitzring, having crashed 13 laps before the end in 2001. He lapped fast enough that had he been qualifying for the race that weekend, he would have been fifth. It persuaded him that a race return was something to pursue.
He also took up hand cycling and went on to win double gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.