Best Of 2012 The Best Athletes of 2012  

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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
888 422
Usain Bolt is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Sherwood Content, Jamaica
2
786 402
Michael Phelps is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Towson, Baltimore, Maryland
3
1,122 615
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Akron, Ohio, United States of America
4
279 101
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
5
860 446
Gabby Douglas is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States of America
6
712 296
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Palestine, Texas, United States of America
7
599 374
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Washington, D.C., United States of America
8
466 290
Missy Franklin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Pasadena, California
9
436 305
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Rosario, Argentina
10
438 271
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Newnan, Georgia
11
418 350
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
San Mateo, California, United States of America
12
345 243
Miguel Cabrera is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Maracay, Venezuela
13
335 294
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Chico, California
14
63 11
Henry Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Columbus, Mississippi
15
224 194
Manti Te'o is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Laie, Hawaii
16
387 357
Serena Williams is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Saginaw, Michigan, United States of America
17
53 6
Humberto González is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
18
61 9
Aaron Pryor is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Cincinnati, Ohio
19
94 26
RGIII is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
RGIII
20
39 16
Wayne Rooney is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Croxteth, United Kingdom
21
20 2
Anna Chicherova is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Yerevan, Armenia
22
20 2
Yuliya Zaripova is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Yuliya Zaripova
23
36 13
Hope Solo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Tri-Cities, Richland, Washington
24
53 10
Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
New York City, New York, United States of America
25
18 4
Sebastian Vettel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Athletes of 2012
Boqueman added Heppenheim, Germany