|Dakar Rally 2013: French A. Michoulier with "My Dakar from the heart" project|
There are children's names - a tree of life - but not a single brand name present on the 4x4 belonging to French Alain Michoulier, driver and leader of the operation "Mon Dakar du Coeur - My Dakar from the heart."
By doing his utmost to reach Santiago, he is counting on promoting his resolve to young people suffering from cancer, to help them in their fight for life.
Alain Michoulier often swims against the tide and likes to catch people off guard. His Dakar is not only a challenge, but also a message. At all the stages of his project, you can see a way of thinking that calls usual practices into question.
"Bearing in mind that I don't have a budget that allows me to go and see a performance tuner to choose a car, I said to myself that I'd replace the money with my own energy" said Michoulier.
"As a result, I started getting interested in mechanics at the age of 58 years old and now I've managed to completely restore a Toyota KDJ 95 that is more than ten years old, just like I did with a R20 that the Marreau brothers drove on the Dakar in 1982."
Its technical complexity alone makes his challenge an ambitious one. However, for the native of Lyons, who will be taking part in the Dakar for the first time, the essential aspect lies elsewhere, because in his journey to Santiago, he is associating the children hospitalised in isolation rooms at the Institute of Pediatric Haematology and Oncology in Lyons.
"I'm drawing a parallel between the sporting challenge that I am attempting and the one that all these children must meet when they are faced with difficulties and suffering of all types" added the French.
"For them, the finishing line is to get better. I know that as far as I'm concerned, with the car I'll be driving, I'm going to struggle and arrive extremely late in the evening! But I will not let myself drop out."
The coherence and integrity of his project can even be found in his funding, which has been set up according to a principle that is just as disconcerting as it is ethical: "I didn't want any sponsors, only donors. I want to make sure this project is entirely business free - my car won't have any stickers from any firm on it. All those who have contributed have done it with their heart. And let me tell you, generosity is alive and well."
2012/11/12 | 12:21 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO