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Barry Sheene

British motorcycling legend Barry Sheene notched up so many high-speed crashes that, at one point, he had metal plates in both knees, and 28 screws in his leg and his left wrist. He was once asked by a BBC interviewer what went through his mind during such a accident. "Your arse," he famously replied, "if you're going fast enough."

[Sheene once recovered after a 175mph crash -- during practice for the Daytona 200 in Florida -- that broke nearly every bone in his body. He woke up in hospital -- and promptly asked the nurse for "a fag" (cigarette).]

[Sheene's love affair with speed began -- appropriately, as it turned out -- at the Royal College of Surgeons, where his father worked as an engineer. At the age of 10, he was allowed to park the Jaguars and Rolls Royces of surgeons.]

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