The 25 Gutsiest Performances in Sports History

1. Niki Lauda's Burned Face

Date: 9/12/1976
Game: Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix
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Before the 1976 German Grand Prix, Lauda attempted in vain to boycott the race due to safety concerns on the track. Unfortunately, he failed and went on to race, only to suffer a horrific accident which saw his car burst into flames. Lauda inhaled toxic gasses, damaging his lungs and blood. His hair, eyebrows, eyelids, and right ear were burned off, leaving ghastly scars all over his face and head.

Two races later, he returned for Ferrari and finished fourth in the Italian Grand Prix, despite being mentally unfit to drive, and having to manage blood soaked facial bandages from his still healing burn wounds. Just the fact that he conquered physical and psychological demons a mere six weeks later to step into a F1 car, much less race and place fourth, is an incredible feat of courage and ability. 

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