The Best Athletes of 2012 Athletes

The Best Athletes of 2012

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6,552 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
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  1. 72
    Up 1
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    1958 More
    44
  2. 97
    Up 1
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    1921 More
    40
  3. 3
    Up 1111
    Down 587

    the people's #1 &often listed
    LeBron James

    1984 More
    96
  4. 89
    Up 59
    Down 177
    1985 More
    41
  5. 83
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1962 More
    42
  6. 22
    Up 205
    Down 252
    1979 More
    58
  7. 54
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1874 More
    47
  8. 2
    Up 771
    Down 371

    most listed &ranked high on reranks
    Michael Phelps

    1985 More
    98
  9. 123
    Up 34
    Down 102

    ranked low on reranks
    Rudy Gay

    1986 More
    28
  10. 118
    Up 55
    Down 118
    1985 More
    33
  11. 18
    Up 186
    Down 232

    controversial
    Roger Federer

    1981 More
    61
  12. 50
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1925 More
    48
  13. 59
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1962 More
    46
  14. 55
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1944 More
    47
  15. 24
    Up 150
    Down 208

    controversial
    Novak Djokovic

    1987 More
    56
  16. 66
    Up 1
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    1913 More
    45
  17. 108
    Up 1
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    1926 More
    37
  18. 91
    Up 1
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    1923 More
    41
  19. 115
    Up 1
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    ranked low on reranks
    Mike Tyson

    1966 More
    35
  20. 69
    Up 2
    Down 2
    1973 More
    45
  21. 93
    Up 108
    Down 198
    1988 More
    40
  22. 125
    Up 23
    Down 90

    ranked low on reranks
    Tony Allen

    1982 More
    27
  23. 13
    Up 329
    Down 291

    often listed
    Aaron Rodgers

    1983 More
    71
  24. 30
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1955 More
    53
  25. 107
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1962 More
    37
  26. 39
    Up 1
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    ranked high on reranks
    Henry Armstrong

    1912 More
    49
  27. 23
    Up 196
    Down 237

    controversial
    Anderson Silva

    1975 More
    57
  28. 109
    Up 1
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    1949 More
    37
  29. 58
    Up 169
    Down 309
    1975 More
    46
  30. 120
    Up 4
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    1988 More
    32
    added by: NaveenBharathReddy
  31. 85
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    1873 More
    42
  32. 119
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1989 More
    32
    added by: Jhair84
  33. 65
    Up 1
    Down 6
    1987 More
    45
  34. 57
    Up 11
    Down 5
    1985 More
    46
  35. 113
    Up 19
    Down 86
    1987 More
    35
  36. 33
    Up 117
    Down 222

    controversial
    Cristiano Ronaldo

    1985 More
    52
  37. 45
    Up 1
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    ranked high on reranks
    Jack Johnson

    1878 More
    48
  38. 98
    Up 55
    Down 161
    1989 More
    39
  39. 27
    Up 139
    Down 255

    often listed &controversial
    Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    1977 More
    55
  40. 82
    Up 115
    Down 155
    1988 More
    43
  41. 35
    Up 79
    Down 75
    1989 More
    51
  42. 34
    Up 99
    Down 224

    often listed &controversial
    Manny Pacquiáo

    1978 More
    52
  43. 56
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1914 More
    46
  44. 31
    Up 157
    Down 216

    controversial
    Bryce Harper

    1992 More
    52
  45. 28
    Up 185
    Down 220

    controversial
    Buster Posey

    1987 More
    53
  46. 71
    Up 98
    Down 213
    1975 More
    44
  47. 40
    Up 12
    Down 12
    1985 More
    49
  48. 53
    Up 1
    Down 1
    1972 More
    47
  49. 96
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1893 More
    40
  50. 70
    Up 1
    Down 6
    1986 More
    45
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