In Brief

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Takes 1st Drive Since Arizona Shooting

Mark Kelley and Gabrielle Giffords
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. (Image 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!"

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Denise Chow
Live Science Contributor

Denise Chow was the assistant managing editor at Live Science before moving to NBC News as a science reporter, where she focuses on general science and climate change. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for, writing about rocket launches and covering NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.