Danger and the Dakar Rally have long been bedfellows, as dozens of participants have perished by racing across some of the world's most inhospitable terrain. But last year the threat of al Qaeda deemed the race too risky for the organizers, who cancelled the Rally for the first time in its 30-year history. They cited safety warnings from the French government after the al Qaeda-linked slaying of a family of French tourists in Mauritania where eight of the competition's 15 stages were to be held and "threats launched directly against the race by terrorist organizations." This appeared to be a one-off as the Rally returned earlier this year, albeit in South America. Sport's bright light will remain undimmed.
By Glen Levy