01/20/2015 09:03 EST | Updated 03/22/2015 05:59 EDT

Dakar Rally: West Vancouver man aims to be first amputee to race on motorcycle

Four years after a life-altering collision on B.C.'s Coquihalla Highway, a West Vancouver man is aiming to become the first amputee to race the gruelling Dakar Rally on a motorcycle.

In 2010, Erez Avramov suffered significant injuries to his ribs, right femur and ankle after his car skidded on black ice and into an oncoming truck. After half a dozen operations, doctors told Avramov, an outdoor sports enthusiast, that he had a chance of a full recovery, but the pain in his right leg remained so agonizing that in 2013, Avramov chose to have it amputated below the knee.

As Avramov adjusted to a prosthetic leg, the idea of fulfilling his 20-year dream to race in the Dakar  Rally — known as the world's toughest off road competition — resurfaced.

"When the accident happened, the first thing that I thought was, 'That's it. The dream is gone,'" Avramov told The Early Edition. "The first thing that goes through your mind is, I should have done it before."

To race in the 2016 Dakar Rally, Avramov must first compete in qualifying races in the spring. He began training two months ago.

"I'm not a daredevil, I'm not there for the adrenaline rush or try to test my limits," he said.

"I survived the car accident, I'm grateful for every day I have and I wouldn't try to risk my life now. But I believe that when there is a big dream, you don't need to follow the logic in it, you need to follow it."