Sports

The Best Athletes of 2011  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
4.7k votes 519 voters 28.1k views 100 items

List Rules Only vote for athletes based on their 2011 season

Whether they led your favorite team to a championship or helped a rival team eliminate yours from the playoffs, the best athletes of 2011 provided us with hours of cheers (and a few tears) throughout the year in sports.

These fine athletes accomplished feats never before completed, like when Tom Brady passed for a ridiculous 517 yards in a single game, but also showed that they were human, like when Peyton Manning was ruled out at the beginning of the 2011 NFL season.

Other athletes were in the news for the wrong reasons, like tennis star Serena Williams who was criticized for her on-court profanity or Cam Newton, the number-one NFL Draft pick who dealt with a pay-for-play scandal that shortened his college football career.

Even entire teams were in the news, many for overcoming big obstacles to win a championship, like the Boston Bruins in the NHL, or for huge collapses right before a playoff run, like the Boston Red Sox in the MLB. Others were laughed at when high expectations ended in disappointment, such as the dramatic year for LeBron James and the Miami Heat, who lost in the NBA Finals.

In the end, only one sports team from each league or sport could be named the best, the champions of the year and from each league comes an MVP, one person that stood above the rest in accomplishing great things. Those most valued players, and a few who may not be sporting a new championship ring, but still played quite well, make up the best athletes of 2011.

Check out more lists like Best Athletes of 2012, Ugliest Athletes of All Time, Sexiest Male Athletes
list ordered by
1
Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
age 41
2
Usain Bolt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
age 33
3
Novak Djokovic is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
4
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
age 36
5
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
age 32
6
Derrick Rose is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
age 31
7
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
8
Michael Schuhmacher is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
9
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
age 42
10
Lindsey Vonn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
age 35
11
Sebastian Vettel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
12
Mario Götze is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
age 27
13
Nicklas Lidström is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
14
Therese Johaug is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
Boqueman added age 31
15
Sally McLellan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
Boqueman added age 33
16
Wesley Sneijder is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
17
Tatyana Chernova is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
Boqueman added age 31
18
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
age 33
19
Maria Höfl-Riesch is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
Boqueman added age 35
20
Andreas Thorkildsen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
Boqueman added age 37
21
David Storl is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
Boqueman added age 29
22
Marit Bjørgen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
Boqueman added age 39
23
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
age 41
24
Thomas Morgenstern is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
Boqueman added age 33
25
Betty Heidler is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Athletes of 2011
Boqueman added age 36