By Matt Majendie, for CNN
January 1, 2013
Dakar Rally begins in Peruvian capital on January 5 and finishes 15 days later in Chile
Tom Neathway is one of five injured military personnel taking part in 8,000-kilometer trek
British soldier lost both legs and an arm during active duty in Afghanistan in 2008
He will be taking part as a co-driver, helping with navigation in the South American race
(CNN) -- The Dakar Rally is arguably the world's most dangerous motorsport race, but for one newcomer it cannot compare with what he has already been through.
British soldier Tom Neathway will be co-driving in the 16-day event, which traverses the mountainous desert terrain of South America, despite losing both his legs and an arm after standing on a booby trap while serving in Afghanistan in 2008.
He effectively died three times, and had to be resuscitated on each occasion on the operating table back at base.
"I think the Dakar's less dangerous than what I've done, and I think I knew what I was getting myself into when I signed up for it," Neathway told CNN. "Saying that, most of the guys I've spoken to about the Dakar never do it again, so it's clearly not easy."
"We were on a routine patrol when we came under enemy fire," recalls Neathway, who is one of five injured military personnel taking part in the 2013 race. "I was part of the sniper team and moved into position to provide covering fire for my fellow troops.linked from Stars and Stripes
"The area I went to was already cleared by metal detectors where there was a sandbag. I asked for it to be checked again and it was. Then I lifted the sandbag and the blast took off my feet and badly damaged my left arm.
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