TagsSee other tags
It was a very good year: Here are 32 of 2012’s sporting winners
Featuring Katie Taylor, Rob Kearney and much much more.
Katie TaylorIt's difficult to think of an Irish athlete who was under more pressure than Katie Taylor in 2012. Yet the Bray native managed to deal with the enormous expectations placed on her shoulders, securing Ireland's only gold medal at the Olympics while at the same time raising the profile of women's boxing considerably. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)
Sebastian VettelIt's doubtful 2012 could have gone any better for Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull, who ended up as world champions for the third successive year (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo).
Rob KearneyWhile it was an underwhlming year for the Irish rugby team for the most part, Leinster enjoyed consiberable success, winning the Heineken Cup for the second year running. Full-back Rob Kearney played a pivotal role in their triumph and was thus, deservedly rewarded with the Irish Player of the Year accolade. (Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)
The Irish Paralympics TeamIt's more or less impossible single out any individual member of the Irish Paralympics team. They exceeded all expectations in London, with Ireland ultimately placing very near the top of the per-capita medal table. (INPHO/Billy Stickland).
Jim McGuinnessCould 2012 have gone any better for Jim McGuinness? The acclaimed coach led Donegal to their first All-Ireland win since 1992, before being offered a lucrative job to coach Celtic's academy on a part-time basis. (INPHO/Morgan Treacy)
Giovanni Trapattoni's criticsRoddy Collins and others have been telling us that Giovanni Trapattoni's management style is flawed for a while now. And while the Irish team were relatively successful initially, it all went pear-shaped this year amid a disastrous performance at the Euros. (INPHO/Mike Shaughnessy)
Shane LongFew Irish footballers had a great year, though Shane Long represents a notable exception. West Brom enjoyed a meteoric rise towards the top of the Premier League, and the Irishman was an integral reason behind their impressive form (Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport).
Rory McIlroyFollowing an exceptional 2011, McIlroy delivered even more on his early promise in 2012, ultimately rising to number one in the world rankings following his Major-winning exploits. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Henry ShefflinConsolidating his status as one of the greatest hurlers ever, Shefflin delivered a series of fine performances to help Kilkenny win yet another All-Ireland and consequently, was rightfully acknowledged as the Hurler of the Year at the All-Star Awards (INPHO/James Crombie)
Paul Kimmage and David WalshIn some senses, it seems odd to name two journalists on a list that is primarily aimed at celebrating the achievements of athletes and coaches. However, in their tireless and ultimately successful pursuit of Lance Armstrong, they helped rid cycling of a wider malaise afflicting the sport. Without their forthright efforts, it's doubtful the rigorous anti-doping measures now in places would have been implemented so readily (Image: YouTube)
Usain BoltAnother athlete of whom a lot was expected, Bolt delivered in style, winning three gold medals and breaking the 100m record in the process (Adam Davy/PA Wire/Press Association Images).
Mo FarahThe British athlete's incredible achievement in winning gold in the 5000m and 10000m was the icing on the cake in what was a phenomenal year for the Olympic Games' host nation (Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images).
Bradley WigginsWiggins was a much-needed breath of fresh air for cycling this year. His friendly demeanour won him plenty of fans, while his exploits in the sport gave them reason to cheer, as he ended the year as both Tour de France and Olympic champion (John Giles/PA Wire/Press Association Images).
Michael PhelpsNow officially the most decorated Olympian ever, Phelps shrugged off initial poor form and suggestions he was past his sell-by date to make another indelible mark on the record books. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Andy Murray2012 will be remembered as the year when Andy Murray came of age. It seemed as if he was destined to become a Tim Henman-esque also-ran after he had the misfortune to come up against a peak-form Roger Federer in the final of Wimbledon, yet he showed great character to come back and win the US Open shortly thereafter, defeating Novak Djokovic in a gruelling final (AP Photo/Darron Cummings).
Jose Maria OlazabalJose Maria Olazabal must have delivered some inspirational words to the European Ryder Cup team. In a seemingly impossible position going into the final day of the competition, they earned what had at one stage seemed a highly unlikely victory (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire).
Serena WilliamsSerena Williams has long since secured her legendary status in the tennis world, yet her relentless drive for success was evident this year once more, as she won Wimbledon for the umpteenth time (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe).
Ronnie O'SullivanLike so many on this list, Ronnie O'Sullivan is familiar with being the best in his respective sport at this stage. However, the exemplary attitude he showed on his way to winning the World Championships should not be downplayed as a result (Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/Press Association Images).
John Joe NevinWhile he did not secure the gold he so desperately wanted, John Joe Nevin can still be immensely proud of himself. He achieved a silver at the Olympics, and Katie Taylor aside, no Irish athlete at the London Games can claim to have equalled or bettered that achievement (INPHO/Morgan Treacy).
Iker CasillasWe all knew Iker Casillas was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time long before this year began, but even by his standards, winning both La Liga and the European Championships was special (AP Photo/Jon Super).
Wladimir KlitschkoKlitschko went from strenght to strength this year, overcoming every challenge he faced, preserving his immaculate record and holding onto his numerous titles. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
Aries MerrittThe American enjoyed his finest year ever in sport, winning gold at the World Indoor Championships in the 60m hurdles in Turkey and gold in the 110m hurdles at the London Olympics. (DAVID STOCKMAN/Belga/Press Association Images)
David RudishaThough he often had to play second fiddle to Usain Bolt, Rudisha also produced some astonishing performances in London, and was rewarded with an Athlete of the Year nomination (David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images).
Karl LaceyAwarded Footballer of the Year and rightfully so. He was a significant presence in the Donegal side that won the All-Ireland. Moreover, his year was topped off by a congratulatory letter from one of his heroes in Arsene Wenger (INPHO/Donall Farmer).
LeBron JamesIt's been another vintage year for the King, which encompassed an MVP trophy, an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal (AP Photo/Danny Johnston).
Gemma O'ConnorFew athletes have been quite so consistently dominant in their sport as Gemma O'Connor. The star picked up her seventh All-star nomination this year, as her Cork side made it to the All-Ireland decider again. (INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan).
Donegal JimmyOne of the less conventional stars of 2012, the singing sensation was also among the most memorable (Image: YouTube).
Missy FranklinNot many athletes so young can win gold at the Olympics in a record time, but Missy Franklin is the exception that proves the rule (Mike Egerton/PA Wire).
Richie McCawA model of consistency, Richie McCaw breached the 100-cap mark for New Zealand in 2012 - and continued to look as dominant as ever (Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport).
Ryan Lochte2012 saw Lochte bring his total amount of Olympic medals won to 11, meaning he's now joint second in the all-time list with Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi, and behind only Phelps (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill).
Alex ZanardiFormer Formula One race car driver Alex Zanardi, who lost both legs in a crash in 2001, crosses the finish line in the men's handcycle category of the New York City Marathon in New York (AP Photo/Kathy Willens).
Jessica EnnisWinner of the Olympic heptathlon gold and beaten only by Bradley Wiggins for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award (Martin Rickett/PA Wire).
Who else deserved to make the list? Let us know in the comments section below
You know what really grinds my gears? The top 23 things in modern sport we’re sick of, want to go away>
Embed this post
To embed this post, copy the code below on your site