I in a wheelchair, I run against the barriers

“It is a struggle against barriers, a message to say that the will has no limits. It does not count in which position we will end ». Gianluca Tassi is the first disabled Italian driver to take part in the most famous raid in the world. He will do it at the wheel of a pick-up truck with special modifications. “The challenge is to encourage all those in my position not to stay closed on four walls. Whether they’re at home or in the hospital. ” From the Trasimeno hills to the desert, Tassi in 1999 whizzed through the dunes of the Sahara when the Dakar was still an African race. Four years later he is forced to turn in a wheelchair: during a trip to Peru he falls from his enduro and loses the use of his legs. But not the desire to compete; continues to run in the car, then founds the non-profit organization “Uno di Noi” and a driving school for “those like me”. «These projects are my job, my life». As Zanardi gets up: “People like Alex, like Bebe Vio, but also many other athletes, are symbols of strength and hope. I was lucky enough to teach how to drive to Giada Rossi (bronze in the ping-pong at the Paralympics in Rio). ” At 55 he tells where he left to return to the Dakar: “From a distance: you have to be ready for crazy physical efforts. Every day I traveled 400-500 km, I feel in perfect shape. But the head counts more than the muscles: there are times when you have to manage the lack of sleep, the tiredness ». On the 4×4 will be in the company of two historic friends: the navigator Massimiliano and Alessandro, “they pushed me to get back into the game”.