The Best Athletes of 2012 Athletes
0Ultimate List
originally by  tags 27,370 votes 4,389 voters 10,144 views 153 items f p @

The Best Athletes of 2012

List Criteria: Only 2012 performances on the field. Other years do not count

The best athletes of 2012 won Olympic gold medals, helped clinch team championships, broke world records and became some of the most admired athletes in the world. These athletic stars come from all sports and each offer something different to their adoring fans but they all accomplished incredible things during the 2012 calendar year. These are the best athletes of 2012.

With the 2012 London Summer Olympics the big highlight in the year in sports, it should be no surprise that many of 2012's best athletes were Olympic medalists. American swimmer Michael Phelps was easily the top athlete at the 2012 Summer Olympics when he brought home another six medals, bringing his career total to 22. But Phelps wasn't the only athlete to become an instant favorite at the 2012 games with sprinter Usain Bolt, tennis stars Andy Murray and Serena Williams and fellow swimmer Missy Franklin each winning big in their respective events.

There was much more to see than just the Olympics however with stars in the worlds of football, baseball, basketball and hockey, among other sports, dominating the action. Repeating their honors as top athletes of 2011, names like Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, Justin Verlander, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, LeBron James, small forward for the Miami Heat, and Tiger Woods, pro golfer, all returned to see success again in 2012.

Selecting a top athlete for a calendar year is often a matter of opinion and fandom so if you see someone you think should be higher or lower, vote accordingly. Want to re-rank the list or add someone we missed, do all of that below and help us rank the best athletes of 2012.
Be sure to also check out the Biggest Sports Disappointments of 2012, Famous Sports Speeches and the Best Sports to Watch.

  • 19 ReRanks
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
L The List
Z
B Comments
& Embed
G Options
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 880
    - 416

    most listed
    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 782
    - 392

    Towson, Baltimore, Maryland

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1115
    - 610

    the people's #1
    Akron, Ohio, United States of America

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 839
    - 439
    ) open
  5. 5
    + 270
    - 96

    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 595
    - 369

    Washington, D.C., United States of America

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 463
    - 286

    Pasadena, California, United States of America

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 425
    - 302

    Rosario, Argentina

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 708
    - 293

    Palestine, Texas, United States of America

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 434
    - 268

    Newnan, Georgia, United States of America

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 414
    - 348

    San Mateo, California, United States of America

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 334
    - 293

    Chico, California, United States of America

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 224
    - 191

    Laie, Hawaii, United States of America

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 344
    - 242

    Maracay, Venezuela

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 384
    - 356

    Saginaw, Michigan, United States of America

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 196
    - 237

    Basel, Switzerland

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 255
    - 320

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 154
    - 170

    Vineland, New Jersey, United States of America

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 81
    - 106

    Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 118
    - 199

    Manacor, Spain

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 149
    - 265

    Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States of America

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 118
    - 228

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kibawe, Philippines

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 16
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by Boqueman
    's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 37
    - 15

    ranked low on reranks
    Croxteth, United Kingdom

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 137
    - 178

    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 53
    - 3

    ranked low on reranks
    Mexico

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 154
    - 216

    Belgrade, Serbia

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 144
    - 208

    Rochester, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 209
    - 255

    Austin, Texas, United States of America

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 123
    - 120

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Nyagan, Russia

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 18
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by Boqueman
    Yerevan, Armenia

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 18
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by Boqueman
    Saint Petersburg, Russia

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 16
    - 2

    added by Boqueman
    Sebastian Vettel

  34. 34
    + 18
    - 1

    added by Boqueman
    Yuliya Zaripova

  35. 35
    + 194
    - 207

    Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, United States of America

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 17
    - 2

    added by Boqueman
    Rūta Meilutytė

  37. 37
    + 17
    - 2

    added by Boqueman
    Paddington, Sydney, Australia

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 118
    - 222

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Leytonstone, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 200
    - 241

    São Paulo, Brazil

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 33
    - 12

    Tri-Cities, Richland, Washington

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 15
    - 2

    added by Boqueman
    Sebastian Brendel

  42. 42
    + 60
    - 6

    ranked low on reranks
    Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 124
    - 254

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Santo António, Portugal

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 175
    - 220

    Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 176
    - 229

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 14
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by Boqueman
    King City, King, Canada

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 13
    - 0

    ranked low on reranks & added by Boqueman
    Katie Ledecky

  48. 48
    + 207
    - 222

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Leesburg, Georgia, United States of America

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 62
    - 8

    Columbus, Mississippi, United States of America

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 13
    - 0

    added by Boqueman
    Paddington, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
154 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >