The Best Athletes of 2012 Athletes

The Best Athletes of 2012

27,546 votes 4,403 voters 10,572 views 156 items tags f p @

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.

List Photo: user uploaded image
  • 20 ReRanks
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  1. 50
    + 154
    - 217


    Belgrade, Serbia

    ;
  2. 49
    + 178
    - 229


    Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    ;
  3. 48
    + 100
    - 76

    ranked low on reranks
    Holywood, Bangor, United Kingdom

    ;
  4. 47
    + 14
    - 2

    ranked low on reranks & added by Boqueman
    Paddington, London, United Kingdom

    ;
  5. 46
    + 138
    - 178


    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    ;
  6. 45
    + 209
    - 256

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Austin, Texas, United States of America

    ;
  7. 44
    + 14
    - 2
    Katie Ledecky is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012

    added by Boqueman
    Katie Ledecky Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America

  8. 43
    + 177
    - 220


    Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America

    ;
  9. 42
    + 195
    - 207


    Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, United States of America

    ;
  10. 41
    + 18
    - 3

    added by Boqueman
    Saint Petersburg, Russia

    ;
  11. 40
    + 82
    - 106


    Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America

    ;
  12. 39
    + 209
    - 222


    Leesburg, Georgia, United States of America

    ;
  13. 38
    + 15
    - 3

    added by Boqueman
    Schwedt, Germany

    ;
  14. 37
    + 257
    - 320

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  15. 36
    + 15
    - 3

    added by Boqueman
    King City, King, Canada

    ;
  16. 35
    + 16
    - 4
    Rūta Meilutytė is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012

    added by Boqueman
    Rūta Meilutytė Kaunas, Lithuania

  17. 34
    + 16
    - 3

    added by Boqueman
    's-Hertogenbosch, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    ;
  18. 33
    + 124
    - 120


    Nyagan, Russia

    ;
  19. 32
    + 52
    - 12

    ranked low on reranks
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States of America

    ;
  20. 31
    + 17
    - 4

    added by Boqueman
    Paddington, Sydney, Australia

    ;
  21. 30
    + 40
    - 6

    ranked low on reranks
    Accra, Ghana

    ;
  22. 29
    + 155
    - 171


    Vineland, New Jersey, United States of America

    ;
  23. 28
    + 200
    - 237

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Basel, Switzerland

    ;
  24. 27
    + 26
    - 12


    Mol, Belgium, Belgium

    ;
  25. 26
    + 17
    - 3

    added by Boqueman
    Germany, Heppenheim

    ;
  26. 25
    + 53
    - 9


    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ;
  27. 24
    + 35
    - 12


    Tri-Cities, Richland, Washington

    ;
  28. 23
    + 39
    - 16


    Croxteth, United Kingdom

    ;
  29. 22
    + 94
    - 24
    RGIII is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012


    RGIII

  30. 21
    + 12
    - 0

    added by Boqueman
    Oskemen, Kazakhstan

    ;
  31. 20
    + 385
    - 357

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Saginaw, Michigan, United States of America

    ;
  32. 19
    + 60
    - 7


    Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America

    ;
  33. 18
    + 19
    - 1
    Yuliya Zaripova is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012

    added by Boqueman
    Yuliya Zaripova

  34. 17
    + 19
    - 1

    added by Boqueman
    Yerevan, Armenia

    ;
  35. 16
    + 53
    - 5

    ranked low on reranks
    Mexico

    ;
  36. 15
    + 224
    - 193

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Laie, Hawaii, United States of America

    ;
  37. 14
    + 63
    - 10

    ranked low on reranks
    Columbus, Mississippi, United States of America

    ;
  38. 13
    + 335
    - 294

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

    ;
  39. 12
    + 345
    - 243


    Maracay, Venezuela

    ;
  40. 11
    + 417
    - 349


    San Mateo, California, United States of America

    ;
  41. 10
    + 436
    - 270


    Newnan, Georgia, United States of America

    ;
  42. 9
    + 432
    - 304


    Rosario, Argentina

    ;
  43. 8
    + 464
    - 289


    Pasadena, California, United States of America

    ;
  44. 7
    + 598
    - 371


    Washington, D.C., United States of America

    ;
  45. 6
    + 709
    - 295


    Texas, USA, Palestine

    ;
  46. 5
    + 859
    - 443


    Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States of America

    ;
  47. 4
    + 276
    - 96


    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    ;
  48. 3
    + 1,120
    - 611

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

    ;
  49. 2
    + 784
    - 396


    Towson, Baltimore, Maryland

    ;
  50. 1
    + 884
    - 419

    most listed
    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ;
157 +

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