Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after receiving the Legion of Merit from Vice President Joe Biden during Captain Kelly's retirement ceremony in the Secretary of War Suite in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C., Oct. 6, 2011.
Credit: White House Photo by David Lienemann
Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who survived a gunshot wound to the head from a brazen assassination attempt three years ago, drove a car for the first time since the horrific and near-fatal attack. Giffords navigated the hairpin turns and long straightaways of the Circuit of the Americas racetrack in Austin, Texas, with her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, cheering her on from the front seat. The former politician posted a video of the drive on her Facebook page.
"2014 will be a year of many wins for me — moments when I do something I thought I might never be able to do again," Giffords wrote on her Facebook page. "I started the year by skydiving with my good friend, former Navy Seal Jimmy Hatch. Since then, I've been practicing my French Horn, working on my speaking, and walking a bit faster every day. And most recently, I traveled to the Circuit of the Americas and drove for the first time since the shooting that nearly took my life."
"Driving at CoTA was a bit like racing my motorcycle back in Arizona — but this time, it was just me, Mark and the pavement," she added. "I feel honored to have taken this important step on one of the finest tracks in the world. And while I may not be Mario Andretti, I think I handled the road pretty well. I hope you enjoy seeing this special moment!"