The Best Athletes of 2012 Athletes
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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
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  1. 130
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    San Javier, Argentina

    ) open
  2. 152
    + 14
    - 77

    Tandil, Argentina

    ) open
  3. 8
    + 423
    - 300

    Rosario, Argentina

    ) open
  4. 37
    + 17
    - 2

    added by Boqueman Paddington, Sydney, Australia

    ) open
  5. 52
    + 25
    - 10

    often listed Mol, Belgium, Belgium

    ) open
  6. 40
    + 200
    - 240

    São Paulo, Brazil

    ) open
  7. 107
    + 40
    - 121

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil

    ) open
  8. 53
    + 116
    - 200

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Saint-Isidore, Montérégie, Quebec, Canada

    ) open
  9. 47
    + 14
    - 1

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

    ) open
  10. 140
    + 3
    - 6

    Berrocal, Spain

    ) open
  11. 116
    + 5
    - 2

    Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

    ) open
  12. 69
    + 11
    - 0

    added by Boqueman Bílovec, Czech Republic

    ) open
  13. 90
    + 3
    - 5

    Stevenage, United Kingdom

    ) open
  14. 21
    + 37
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    Croxteth, United Kingdom

    ) open
  15. 109
    + 31
    - 23

    West Hartlepool, United Kingdom

    ) open
  16. 62
    + 40
    - 4

    Accra, Ghana

    ) open
  17. 147
    + 4
    - 6

    added by NaveenBharathReddy Delhi, India

    ) open
  18. 1
    + 880
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    most listed Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ) open
  19. 63
    + 11
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    added by Boqueman Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia

    ) open
  20. 67
    + 11
    - 0

    added by Boqueman Oskemen, Kazakhstan

    ) open
  21. 133
    + 20
    - 21

    Tijuana, Mexico

    ) open
  22. 26
    + 53
    - 3

    ranked low on reranks Mexico

    ) open
  23. 121
    + 43
    - 84

    Mexico City, Mexico

    ) open
  24. 124
    + 4
    - 2

    Ciudad Obregón, Mexico

    ) open
  25. 117
    + 6
    - 3

    Mexico City, Mexico

    ) open
  26. 28
    + 15
    - 1

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

    ) open
  27. 74
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Rotterdam, Netherlands

    ) open
  28. 93
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    Managua, Nicaragua

    ) open
  29. 66
    + 100
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    Holywood, Bangor, United Kingdom

    ) open
  30. 23
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    Kibawe, Philippines

    ) open
  31. 45
    + 123
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Santo António, Portugal

    ) open
  32. 86
    + 3
    - 4

    Praia, Cape Verde

    ) open
  33. 125
    + 5
    - 4

    Fajardo, United States of America

    ) open
  34. 30
    + 123
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Nyagan, Russia

    ) open
  35. 32
    + 18
    - 1

    added by Boqueman Saint Petersburg, Russia

    ) open
  36. 57
    + 12
    - 0

    added by Boqueman Chelyabinsk, Russia

    ) open
  37. 31
    + 18
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by Boqueman Yerevan, Armenia

    ) open
  38. 25
    + 154
    - 214

    Belgrade, Serbia

    ) open
  39. 135
    + 56
    - 119

    Barcelona, Spain

    ) open
  40. 20
    + 115
    - 199

    Manacor, Spain

    ) open
  41. 64
    + 12
    - 0

    added by Boqueman Skövde, Sweden

    ) open
  42. 68
    + 11
    - 0

    added by Boqueman Winkel, Switzerland

    ) open
  43. 16
    + 191
    - 237

    Basel, Switzerland

    ) open
  44. 75
    + 3
    - 1

    added by Boqueman Ghent, Belgium

    ) open
  45. 132
    + 5
    - 5

    Demerara, Guyana

    ) open
  46. 55
    + 7
    - 0

    added by Boqueman Dewsbury, United Kingdom

    ) open
  47. 50
    + 13
    - 0

    added by Boqueman Paddington, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
  48. 139
    + 3
    - 5

    West Ham

    ) open
  49. 39
    + 118
    - 221

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

    ) open
  50. 126
    + 8
    - 8

    London, United Kingdom

    ) open
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