Big changes are in store for the 2016 Dakar Rally after race organizers and the Chilean government determined that Chile would not be included in the race route for next year’s race.

The sides came to a decision in largely because of the massive floods that have devastated the northern part of the country. The destructive damage brought about by these floods made the race less of a priority than actually trying to rebuild entire towns that have been lost because of the disaster.

For now, that’s Chile’s main objective and it’s something that’s completely understandable. As important as the Chilean route is to the Dakar Rally, it pales in comparison to looming rebuilding efforts the country has to deal with in the wake of one of its worst natural disasters in recent memory.

The Dakar Rally is expected to return to the South American country in 2017, but for now, the ASO will have to sort out a new route for the 2016 race that would be drastically different from the route that has been in place since the rally moved to South America in 2009. It’s going to be a difficult process, but no more difficult than the one Chile is going through right now.

It’s times like this that perspective matters and in this instance, the issues facing the Dakar Rally are nowhere near as important as the one facing Chile.

Continue reading to read more about the ramifications of Chile’s exit from the 2016 Dakar Rally.

Why it matters

I’m from a place where natural disasters happen far too often that I’d like so this one hits really close to home. I’ve lived through a lot of devastating natural disasters so I know from first-hand experience what the people of northern Chile are going through.

First of all, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of them. That’s the most important thing.

The second most important thing is for the Chilean government to reassure those people affected by these flash floods that they’re not being forgotten and that they shouldn’t lose hope on the government and more importantly, on each other. I wish there’s a quick-fix to the destruction caused by these floods, but I know from experience that the recovery process doesn’t happen overnight.

Even though it’s hard to imagine that better days lie ahead, I’d tell the people of Chile not to lose hope, and the country pulling out of the 2016 Dakar Rally should be the least of its worries, as it should be.

Source: Dakar

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