Sports

The Best Athletes of 2012  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules 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 ordered by
1
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Palestine, Texas, United States of America
2
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
3
Usain Bolt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Sherwood Content, Jamaica
4
Michael Phelps is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Towson, Baltimore, Maryland
5
Gabby Douglas is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States of America
6
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Akron, Ohio, United States of America
7
RGIII is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
RGIII
8
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Washington, D.C., United States of America
9
Missy Franklin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Pasadena, California
10
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Newnan, Georgia
11
Yuliya Zaripova is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Yuliya Zaripova
12
Anna Chicherova is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Yerevan, Armenia
13
Kristin Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Boise, Idaho, United States of America
14
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Rosario, Argentina
15
Oscar Wendt is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Skövde, Sweden
16
Olga Rypakova is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Oskemen, Kazakhstan
17
Miguel Cabrera is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Maracay, Venezuela
18
Jade Jones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Jade Jones
19
Petra Kvitová is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Bílovec, Czech Republic
20
Nicola Spirig is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Winkel, Switzerland
21
Katie Ledecky is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Bethesda, Maryland
22
Zara Phillips is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Paddington, London, United Kingdom
23
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
San Mateo, California, United States of America
24
Sebastian Vettel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Heppenheim, Germany
25
Sally McLellan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Paddington, Sydney, Australia