The Best Athletes of 2012 Athletes

The Best Athletes of 2012

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6,543 views 127 items 24,777 votes 4,241 voters 22 followers 18reranks
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.

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

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  Name
Score
  1. 30
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1955 More
    53
  2. 13
    Up 329
    Down 291

    often listed
    Aaron Rodgers

    1983 More
    71
  3. 26
    Up 140
    Down 203

    controversial
    Abby Wambach

    1980 More
    56
  4. 6
    Up 703
    Down 287

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Adrian Peterson

    1985 More
    89
  5. 119
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1989 More
    32
    added by: Jhair84
  6. 67
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1952 More
    45
  7. 38
    Up 31
    Down 20
    1876 More
    50
  8. 23
    Up 196
    Down 237

    controversial
    Anderson Silva

    1975 More
    57
  9. 66
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1913 More
    45
  10. 75
    Up 3
    Down 2
    1985 More
    44
  11. 72
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1958 More
    44
  12. 73
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1896 More
    44
  13. 76
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1965 More
    44
  14. 31
    Up 157
    Down 216

    controversial
    Bryce Harper

    1992 More
    52
  15. 28
    Up 185
    Down 220

    controversial
    Buster Posey

    1987 More
    53
  16. 10
    Up 426
    Down 263

    often listed
    Calvin Johnson

    1985 More
    80
  17. 78
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1942 More
    44
  18. 29
    Up 162
    Down 221

    controversial
    Carmelita Jeter

    1980 More
    53
  19. 33
    Up 117
    Down 222

    controversial
    Cristiano Ronaldo

    1985 More
    52
  20. 71
    Up 98
    Down 213
    1975 More
    44
  21. 94
    Up 22
    Down 33
    1985 More
    40
  22. 93
    Up 108
    Down 198
    1988 More
    40
  23. 22
    Up 205
    Down 252
    1979 More
    58
  24. 89
    Up 59
    Down 177
    1985 More
    41
  25. 25
    Up 127
    Down 173
    1981 More
    56
  26. 81
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1976 More
    43
  27. 83
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1962 More
    42
  28. 79
    Up 1
    Down 2
    No image
    43
  29. 27
    Up 139
    Down 255

    often listed &controversial
    Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    1977 More
    55
  30. 64
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1935 More
    45
  31. 84
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1973 More
    42
  32. 4
    Up 835
    Down 415

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Gabby Douglas

    92
  33. 47
    Up 9
    Down 5
    1995 More
    48
  34. 62
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1949 More
    46
  35. 49
    Up 93
    Down 196
    1981 More
    48
  36. 39
    Up 1
    Down 0

    ranked high on reranks
    Henry Armstrong

    1912 More
    49
  37. 32
    Up 12
    Down 10
    1981 More
    52
  38. 41
    Up 1
    Down 0
    No image

    ranked high on reranks
    Humberto Gonzalez

    1966 More
    49
  39. 59
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1962 More
    46
  40. 65
    Up 1
    Down 6
    1987 More
    45
  41. 43
    Up 1
    Down 0

    ranked high on reranks
    Jack Dempsey

    1895 More
    49
  42. 45
    Up 1
    Down 0

    ranked high on reranks
    Jack Johnson

    1878 More
    48
  43. 46
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1921 More
    48
  44. 98
    Up 55
    Down 161
    1989 More
    39
  45. 50
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1925 More
    48
  46. 53
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1972 More
    47
  47. 55
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1944 More
    47
  48. 54
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1874 More
    47
  49. 56
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1914 More
    46
  50. 85
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1873 More
    42
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