Nominations Announced for the 2012 ESPYs

Jun 27, 2012  •  Post A Comment

From an ESPN press release …

The ESPYS gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2012 ESPYS will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” as well as best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete,” that pit nominees from different sports against each other.

The ESPYS honor ESPN’s commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a partnership launched with the late Jim Valvano at the inaugural ESPYs in 1993.

The 2012 ESPYS Nominees and Categories


Novak Djokovic, Tennis

* Won three Grand Slams and a record five ATP Masters 1000 titles in 2011
* Enjoyed a 70-6 match record during 2011 season
* Became the sixth player in the Open Era to win three Grand Slams in the same season

LeBron James, NBA Miami Heat

* Named NBA MVP for 2011-12 season
* Finished third in scoring during regular season (27.1 ppg)
* Averaged 28.6 ppg., 10.2 rpg and 7.4 apg. in NBA finals

Aaron Rodgers, NFL Green Bay Packers

* Led Packers to a 15-1 regular-season record
* Threw for 45 touchdowns and just six interceptions during 2011 regular season
* Had a 122.5 QB rating in 2011 season, breaking Peyton Manning’s mark of 121.1, set back in 2004

Justin Verlander, MLB Detroit Tigers

* Won 2011 AL Cy Young Award and 2011 AL MVP
* Was the first pitcher to win MVP since Dennis Eckersley in 1992
* He is one of just three American League pitchers since the inception of the Cy Young Award in 1956 to have at least 24 wins and 250 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.50 or better


Brittney Griner, NCAA Baylor Women’s basketball

* Led the Bears to the national championship and the first 40-0 NCAA mark ever
* Averaged 23.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg. and over five blocked shots per game
* Won Wade Trophy, Wooden Award, Naismith?Trophy and AP National Player of the Year

Maria Sharapova, Women’s Tennis

* Became 10th woman to complete career Grand Slam when she won 2012 French singles title
* Moved into world number one ranking after winning French Open

Lindsey Vonn, Skiing

* Averaged set a women’s record for the most World Cup points in a season in 2012
* Won her fourth alpine skiing overall World Cup title

Abby Wambach, USA Women’s Soccer

* Scored her USA-record 13th career women’s World Cup goal in championship game loss to Japan
* Is the first player to score in all three knockout rounds in a single women’s World Cup and the first American to score in four straight women’s World Cup games


David Freese, World Series MVP

* Down to their final strike in Game 6, the Cardinals’ reluctant hero delivered a tying two-run triple in the ninth inning
* Freese then did one better: a leadoff homer in the 11th that gave St. Louis a dramatic win over the Rangers and forced the first World Series Game 7 since 2002
* Set the record for most RBIs in a single postseason, 21
* Batted .348 with seven RBI in World Series

LeBron James, MVP in NBA finals

* Averaged 28.6 ppg., 10.2 rpg and 7.4 apg. in NBA finals
* Won first career championship
* 10th player to win regular season MVP and finals MVP

Eli Manning, MVP in Super Bowl

* Earned MVP honors in Super Bowl win over the Patriots
* Became the fifth quarterback with at least two Super Bowl MVPs
* Was 30-of-40 for 296 yards, with one touchdown pass and zero interceptions in Super Bowl

Tony Stewart, winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship

* All five of Stewart’s wins came in the Chase
* Stewart became the first owner/driver to win the championship since the late Alan Kulwicki in 1992
* Won five of final 10 races of season

Jonathan Quick, Conn Smythe winner in the Stanley Cup

* Allowed just seven goals in six games in finals
* Finished the 2012 Playoffs with a 16-4 record, 1.41 goals against average and a .946 save percentage.


Anthony Davis, University of Kentucky basketball

* Led Kentucky to the national championship
* Earned Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA tournament and national Player of the Year honors

Robert Griffin III, Baylor football

* Won the 2011 Heisman Trophy

* Completed 72.4 percent of his passes, throwing for 4293 yards and 37 touchdowns
* Also ran for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

* Had 90 receptions for 1327 yards and 17 touchdowns during 2011 regular season
* Set single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end

Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks

* Created Lin-sanity in an early stretch with Knicks

* Averaged 14.6 ppg and 6.1 apg. during 2011-12 regular season after signing with New York

Alex Morgan, USA women’s soccer

* Had a breakout performance at the Women’s World Cup, her first at the senior level
* Scored the third and game-clinching goal in the 3-1 victory over France in the semifinal and then tallied against Japan in the final


Drew Brees breaks Dan Marino’s single-season record for passing yards

* After the single-season pass yard record was broken four times in six seasons from 1979 to 1984, Brees was the first to have the mark change hands in 27 years
* Finished with 5,476 yards to break Marino’s single-season pass yard record of 5,084

Coach K passes Bob Knight

* Mike Krzyzewski won his 903rd career game to break the record for the most wins in Men’s Division I history. Krzyzewski broke the wins record held by one of his mentors, Bob Knight. Coach K played for Knight at Army from 1966 to 1969 and began his head coaching career in 1975 at Army

Mariano Rivera, breaks the save record

* Rivera broke Trevor Hoffman’s major-league record for career saves in style, excusing the Twins with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, for save #602 in September, 2011
* Currently has 608 saves

Lexi Thompson, Youngest winner of an LPGA event

* Was 16 years, 7 months and 8 days old when she won
* Shattered the age record for winning a multiple-round tournament, previously held by Paula Creamer, who won in 2005 at 18


Iowa State over Oklahoma State in football

Iowa State, which came in 5-4, scored 17 unanswered points vs. number 2 Oklahoma State over the final 25 minutes to send the game to overtime

* Eventually beat the previously undefeated Cowboys 37-31
* Jeff Woody’s four-yard touchdown run gave the Cyclones the win in double-overtime

Los Angeles Kings winning Cup as an eighth seed, Stanley Cup

* Became the first team seeded eighth to win the Cup
* Went 16-4 in the postseason to win the Cup
* Beat the #1, 2, 3 seeds in the Western Conference playoffs

Lehigh over Duke, NCAA men’s basketball tournament

* The Patriot League team scored a 75-70 stunner in Greensboro, North Carolina
* Prior to this season, only four previous #15 seeds beat #2’s (105-4 all-time before these upsets)
* Duke suffered only its fourth first-game loss in 28 trips to the NCAA Tournament under Mike Krzyzewski

Norfolk State over Missouri, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

* #2 seed Missouri entered the game with a 30-4 record and the Big 12 tournament championship
* #15-seed Norfolk State shot 54 percent from the field a
nd won 86-84
* Norfolk State also became the first school to win in its first big dance appearance since Hampton in 2001


Missouri at Kansas college basketball

* It was the last scheduled game in the Border War series, a rivalry which extended 105 years
* The Jayhawks rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit to win 87-86 in overtime

Niners-Saints, NFC playoff game

* Alex Smith completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with nine seconds left as San Francisco earned a thrilling 36-32 playoff victory
* The teams combined for 34 points in the wild fourth quarter

Rangers-Cardinals, World Series Game Six

* St. Louis rallied from a 7-3 deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning, winning 10-9 in 11 innings
* The Cardinals were down to their last strike twice but still prevailed


Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit

* He hit a home run off of David Price for the magical milestone hit
* He had five hits in that game including the game winning RBI
* Became the 28th member of the 3,000-hit club

Tebow to Thomas sudden death playoff touchdown

* Tim Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas on an electrifying 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime
* The Broncos defeated the stunned Steelers, 29-23 in the AFC wild-card game

Bubba Watson winning Masters

* Defeated Louis Oosthuizen in the second playoff hole to win the Masters Tournament and his first major championship.
* It was the 1st-time since 2009 and the 15th-time overall that a playoff decided the Masters.

Final night of the 2011 MLB season

* The Rays beat the Yankees, the Red Sox lost to Orioles in game 162
* The Orioles use a two-run ninth inning to beat Boston 4-3
* The Rays came back from a 7-0 deficit to edge the Yankees in the game
* Tampa Bay rallied from a nine-game deficit in September to make the playoffs


Alabama football

* Avenged a regular-season loss to LSU, winning the BCS championship game

Baylor women’s basketball

* Won that national championship over Notre Dame in Final
* Became first team, men or women, to go 40-0 in one season

Kentucky men’s basketball

* Won the national championship by beating Kansas at Final Four
* Finished season with 38-2 record

LA Kings, NHL

* The first #8-seed to win the Stanley Cup since the conference-based playoff format was introduced in 1994
* The second team in the four major sports to win with as many as three different head coaches/managers during the regular season, joining the 1978 Yankees
* Won their first Stanley Cup in their 44th season

Miami Heat, NBA

* Earned their second NBA title in franchise history
* The 11th team in NBA history to win an NBA championship the next season after losing in the Finals
* They are the first team in NBA history to win a title after trailing in three different series in a single postseason

NY Giants, NFL

* Became the fifth team with at least four Super Bowl titles
* First team to win a Super Bowl with fewer than 10 regular-season wins since NFL went to 16-game schedule in 1978

St. Louis Cardinals, MLB

* Were 10 ½ games behind in NL wild card race in late August and rallied to win World Series
* Win 11th World Series title, second-most among all teams.


Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

* Came back from two separate battles of concussion-like symptoms to play during 2012 … sat out 10 months before his return … had 37 points in 22 regular-season games during 2011-12 season

Johan Santana, NY Mets

* Missed all of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery
* Threw no-hitter vs. Cardinals, the first no-hitter in New York Mets history
* It was a 134-pitch no-hitter, a first in the history of the franchise in its 8,020th game.

Maria Sharapova

* Returned to number one ranking in the world
* Enjoying her fifth stint as No.1, a position she last held in June 2008
* Won 2012 French Open, her first Grand Slam singles title since 2008

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

* After playing just three games during the 2010 season (shoulder injury), he passed for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2011


John Calipari, Kentucky basketball

* Earned his first national championship
* Led Wildcats to 38-2 record

Tom Coughlin, NY Giants

* Became the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl (age 65)
* Giants beat Falcons, Packers, 49ers and Patriots in the postseason

Kim Mulkey, Baylor women’s basketball

* Led Lady Bears to 40-0 record and national championship
* Became the fifth coach in the NCAA era to win multiple national titles

Patrick Murphy, Alabama softball

* Led Tide to first-ever SEC national championship in softball
* Alabama finished season with 60-8 record

Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat

* Led Heat to franchise’s second NBA championship
* Heat are the first team in NBA history to win a title after trailing in three different series in a single postseason

Darryl Sutter, LA Kings

* The fifth midseason coaching replacement to win the Stanley Cup
* The Kings began with Terry Murray who was fired on December 12 and replaced by John Stevens on an interim basis (4 games) before they hired Sutter on December 20
* Led Kings to 25-13-0-11 record in 49 regular season games


Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

* Set an NFL record for single-season passing yards (5476)
* Threw 46 touchdown passes and only 14 interceptions

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

* Had 90 receptions for 1327 yards and 17 touchdowns during 2011 regular season
* Improved on 42-catch season of 2010

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

* Led NFL in receiving yards during 2011 regular season (1681)
* Had 16 touchdown catches during 2011 regular season

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

* Led Packers to 15-1 regular-season record

* Threw for 45 touchdowns and just six interceptions during 2011 regular season

Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens

* Voted The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year for 2011 season
* Recorded 14 sacks for the Ravens


Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

* Won 2011 NL MVP
* Hit 33 home runs, drove in 111 and totaled 77 extra-base hits

Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers

* Tied major-league record with four home runs in one game in 2012
* Also set AL record for total bases in one game (18)
* Had 25 home runs, 94 RBI, .298 BA in 121 games during 2011 season

Matt Kemp, LA Dodgers

* Led major leagues in RBI with 126
* Hit .324, seventh in the majors
* His 39 home runs finished tied for third in 2011

Clayton Kershaw, LA Dodgers

* Tied for the NL lead in wins (21) and led the NL in both ERA (2.28) and strikeouts (248), giving him pitching’s version of the Triple Crown.

Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

* Won both AL Cy Young award and AL MVP
* Became the first starting pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to win the Cy Young Award and MVP Award in the same season.


Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

* Third in the NHL in points (93)
* Second in NHL in assists (65)

Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers

* Won 39 games during 2011-12 regular season
* Posted 1.97 goals against average
* Won Vezina Trophy as Best Goaltender

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

* Won Art Ross Trophy as leading scorer (109 points) and Hart Trophy as
* One of two players to score 50 goals during 2011 regular season

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

* Led NHL in goals with 60
* Finished second in points with 97
* Joined Alexander Ovechkin as the only two players to score 60 since 1996

Jonathan Quick, LA Kings

* Allowed just seven goals in six games in Stanley Cup Final
* Finished the 2012 Playoffs with a 16-4 record, 1.41 goals against average and a .946 save percentage.


Dario Franchitti

* Won 2012 Indianapolis 500, his third victory at the Brickyard
* Earned his fourth IndyCar title in 2011, Franchitti moved into a tie for second place on the all-time list for most IndyCar Champioships

Tony Stewart

* Became just the third active driver (Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon) with at least three NASCAR Cup Series titles
* Became the 1st owner/driver to win a title since Alan Kulwicki in 1992
* The 1st driver to win the final race and the championship since Jeff Gordon in 1998
* Edged Carl Edwards for the title
* Won final race of the season at Homestead, Florida to earn Sprint title
* Won five of final 10 races of season

Sebastian Vettel

* Youngest double world champion in F1 history
* Scored 11 wins and a record 15 pole positions in 2011.

Del Worsham

* Won the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series top-fuel national championship
* Clinched the title by beating Tony Schumacher at the National Hot Rod Assn. Finals in Pomona, California


Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers

* Averaged 27.9 ppg. during 2011-12 regular season, second in NBA
* Averaged 38.5 minutes per game during regular season

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

* Averaged 28.03 PPG this season, 0.17 ahead of Kobe Bryant
* Became eighth player in NBA history to win at least three scoring titles

LeBron James, Miami Heat

* Averaged 27.1 ppg. 7.9 rpg. and 6.2 apg. during the 2011-12 regular season
* Shot 53.1 pct. from the field during regular season
* Averaged 28.6 ppg., 10.2 rpg and 7.4 apg. in NBA finals
* 10th player to win regular season MVP and finals MVP

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

* Led NBA in double-doubles during regular season
* Averaged 26 ppg. and 13.3 rpg

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

* Helped Spurs to top Western Conference regular-season record
* Averaged 19.3 ppg and 7.7 apg. during 2011-12 regular season

Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics

* Led NBA in assists in both regular season and postseason
* Averaged 20.9 ppg. , 11.3 apg. and 6.9 rpg. In Eastern Conference finals vs. Miami
* Averaged 11.7 apg. in regular season and 11.9 apg. in postseason


Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx

* Averaged 24.7 ppg. during WNBA finals after averaging 16.2 ppg. during the regular season
* Shot 58.7 pct. in finals vs. Atlanta
* Earned MVP of WNBA finalsTamika Catchings, Indiana Fever

Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever

* 2011 WNBA Most Valuable Player of the Year, led the Fever to the top seed in the Eastern Conference
* Averaged 15.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals during 2011 regular season

Tina Charles, Connecticut Sun

* Captured her second consecutive rebounding title )11 rpg.)
* Recorded 10 or more rebounds 23 times
* Surpassed her previous league record of 22 double-doubles last season, with one more this year (23)

Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream

* Ranked second in The League in scoring, averaging 21.56 points, to go along with 5.2 rpg and 2.2 spg.
* Helped Atlanta reach the WNBA finals

Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

* Edged Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry by less than one-tenth of a point — 21.63 to 21.56 ppg. for the WNBA scoring title
* Averaged more than 20 points for the fifth time in her career and shot 44.9 percent from the field
* Led The League in three pointers made (81)


Jon “Bones” Jones, MMA

* Beat Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans to retain his MMA championship
* Became the youngest fighter in UFC history in a title defense at 24 years and 67 days old
* Also scored second-round victory over former champion Lyoto Machida in UFC 140

Floyd Mayweather Jr., Boxing

* Scored a unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto to win the WBA junior middleweight title, a championship in his six different weight class
* Also scored a controversial fourth-round knockout to take the WBC Welterweight Title from Victor Ortiz
* Improved to 43-0 (26 KO) overall and 20-0 in title fights

Anderson Silva, MMA

* Extended his win streak to a UFC-record 14, including a record nine-straight title defenses with his TKO win over Yushin Okami
* Scored a second-round TKO to extend his record

Andre Ward, Boxing

* Reigning WBA and WBC super-middleweight champion
* Defeated Carl Froch to win Super Six championship
* Has career record of 25-0


Luke Donald

* Became the first golfer to win the U. S. and European money titles in the same season

Bill Haas

* Won the 2011 Fed Ex Championship

* Won the 2011 PGA Tour Championship by beating Hunter Mahan in a playoff

Rory McIlroy

* Had four top 10 finishes in 10 PGA Tour events in 2011
* Earned number one ranking in world golf ratings during season

Webb Simpson

* Earned his first major championship by winning 2012 U. S. Open
* Finished second in 2011 in FedEx Cup standings and money earning list

Bubba Watson

* Earned his first major championship, winning the 2012 Masters
* Earned over $3.47 million during 2011 season


Cristie Kerr

* Finished second on 2011 LPGA money list with over $1.4 million
* Became the top American money winner in LPGA history in 2011

Yani Tseng

* Became the youngest player (age 22) to win five LPGA majors
* Went on to win Women’s British Open
* Led the LPGA in money earned in 2011

So Yeon Ryu

* Defeated Hee Kyung Seo in a three-hole aggregate playoff to earn her first major win and her first LPGA Tour win at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open


Novak Djokovic

* Won the 2011 Wimbledon singles championship
* Won the 2012 Australian Open
* Finished as World No. 1, winning a career-best 10 titles in 11 finals en route to a 70-6 match record
* Won three Grand Slams and a record five ATP Masters 1000 titles in 2011
* First player with at least 10 titles in a season since Roger Federer (12) in ‘06

Roger Federer

* Won the season-ending ATP Tour championship in London
* Finished in Top 3 for a ninth straight year
* Compiling a 4-2 record in finals during year, capping season with 17-match winning streak

Rafael Nadal

* Finished in Top two of the world rankings for a seventh straight year
* At 24 years and 10 months old, he was 2nd-youngest to win 500 matches, only behind Bjorn Borg
* Won a record seventh French Open singles title in 2012


Victoria Azarenka

* Won her first career Grand Slam title, capturing the 2012 Australian Open
* Spent time ranked #1 in the world in 2012

Petra Kvitova

* Won her first Grand Slam singles championship at 2011 Wimbledon
* Beat Maria Sharapova in the straight sets in the final

Maria Sharapova

* Became 10th woman to complete career Grand Slam when she won 2012 French singles title
* Moved into world number one ranking after winning French Open
* Enjoyed her fifth Top 5
season in 2011

Samantha Stosur

* Won her first Grand Slam title, beating Serena Williams in the final of the 2011 U. S. Open
* Became the first Australian woman to win a major championship since Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980


Jack Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth hockey

* Won 2012 Hobey Baker Award
* Finished the season second in the nation in scoring with 60 points (20 goals, 40 assists) playing in all 41 games for the Bulldogs

Anthony Davis, Kentucky basketball

* Won Wooden and Naismith awards as Player of the Year
* Won Most Outstanding Player at NCAA championship

Robert Griffin III, Baylor football

* Became the first Baylor player to win the Heisman Trophy
* Completed 72.4 percent of his passes, throwing for 4293 yards and 37 touchdowns
* Also ran for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns

Andrew Luck, Stanford football

* Threw 37 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions during 2011 season
* Led Cardinal to 11-2 record during 2011 season

Mike Zunino, Florida baseball

* Won the Dick Howser Award, which goes to college baseball’s best player
* Finished with .322 batting average, 19 home runs and 67 RBI during 2012 season


Brittney Griner, Baylor basketball

* Led Baylor to 40-0 record and national championship
* Averaged 23.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg. and over five blocked shots per game

Alex Jupiter, USC Volleyball

* An outside hitter who also excelled in defense, was named the 2011 American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Year

Caitlin Leverenz, University of California, Berkeley swimming/diving

* Led her team to a second straight national title
* Set an American record along with NCAA, U.S. Open, and Pac-12 records in the 200 IM and established a school record in her 200 breaststroke victory

Teresa Noyola, Stanford soccer

* The senior midfielder scored the game-winning goal in the national championship game vs. Duke
* Three-time All-American

Jackie Traina, Alabama softball

* Led Crimson Tide to first softball national championship
* Finished 42-3 on the season
* Named the WCWS Most Outstanding Player, threw a complete game four-hitter in championship series-clinching game


Travis Rice

* Won Supernatural, his own groundbreaking big mountain-with-artificial-obstacles contest
* Named Rider of the Year by Snowboarder Magazine and an Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic.

Kelly Slater

* Won his 11th ASP World Tour title in 2011 at age 39 … he’s the youngest person to win surfing’s top title (captured at age 20) and also the oldest.

Ryan Villopoto

* Won both the 2011 Motocross and the 2012 Supercross titles … claimed the latter in dominant fashion, winning 9 of the first 14 events and clinching the crown with four races remaining, which was unprecedented.

Shaun White

* First Vert gold since 2007 and just his second Summer X Games gold medal in eight appearances
* Earned his fifth consecutive superpipe gold at Winter X, earning a perfect 100 on his third and final run


Jamie Anderson

* Dominated for gold at Winter X 2012 and Winter X Games Tignes 2012
* Also won four Burton Open Slopestyle comps, the overall Burton title and the TTR Slopestyle title

Kelly Clark

* Won 2012 winter X games Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe
* In 2012 she became the first snowboarder to repeat gold in Tignes

Carissa Moore

* Became the youngest woman in history (18) to win the ASP (surfing) title
* Won three of the seven events

Kaya Turski

* Defended her 2011 SKI Slopestyle gold at both Winter X 2012 and Winter X Tignes 2012
* She now has three-peats at both events. Won both Dew Tour women’s ski slopestyle comps and the overall Dew Tour slopestyle crown


Javier Castellano

* Rode 11 grade one stakes winners in 2011
* Concluded 2011 fifth in victories with 278, and third in earnings, with his mounts making $15,675,977
* In March 2012, he broke the record at Gulfstream for most wins during the meet

Ramon Dominguez

* 2011 Eclipse Award winner for best jockey
* $20,264,822 in purse money, 348 wins, 24% win percentage and 60% in the money

Mario Gutierrez

* Won in his first-ever Kentucky Derby mount
* Rode I’ll Have Another as he became the first horse ever to win the Kentucky Derby from the 19th post position
* Then rode I’ll Have Another to Preakness win

John Velazquez

* Rode Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf winner Stephanie’s Kitten and Breeders’ Cup Filly And Mare Turf winner Perfect Shirl
* Rode Union Rags to 2012 Belmont Stakes win


Baxter Humby

* Muay Thai current champ and has one arm
* Scored a great knockout of the night at The League’s debut event, earning a one-shot knockout with a roundhouse kick to the stomach of his opponent.

Ray Martin, Track & Field

* Won two gold medals in the 800m and 200m men’s (T52) wheelchair division races … also won two silver medals in 100m and 400m dashes at the 2011 Parapan American Games, Guadalajara, Mexico

Kyle Maynard

* Climbed to Mt. Kilimanjaro’s peak, becoming the first quadruple amputee to get to the top without assistance

Oz Sanchez, Cycling

* Won two gold medals – in the men’s road time trial and road race events (H4) at the 2011 Parapan American Games, Guadalajara, Mexico
* Won three gold medals in the men’s time trial, road race and mixed team relay at the 2011 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships, Roskilde, Denmark
* Won three gold medals in the men’s time trial, road race and mixed team relay (H4) at the Road World Cup
* Was crowned the Overall World Cup Winner

Tyler Walker, Alpine Skiing

* 2012 SG and DH U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Champion, Aspen, Colorado
* 2011-2012 World Cup season Won – three medals:
* Gold medal, Super Combined– IPC World Cup Finals, Panorama, British Columbia
* Second in overall World Cup Speed standings (Super-G, Super Combined and Downhill)


Jessica Long, Swimming

* Won seven gold medals (400 free, 50 free, 100 fly, 100 free, 200 IM, 100 back, 100 breast) and set world records in The Following women’s S8 events: 400m Free, 100m Fly, 50m Fly, 100m Free, and 200m IM events
* In addition, she is also the current world record holder in The Following events: 50m breast, 200m back, 200m fly, 200m IM, 400m IM, 800m, 1500m

Chelsea McClammer, Track & Field

* Won the most U.S. medals of any team member at the 2011 Parapan American Games; McClammer racked up five gold medals (5000m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m) and a bronze medal in the women’s 800m (T54) at the Parapan American Games, Guadalajara, Mexico
* Was a member of the U.S. Team that competed at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships

Tatyana McFadden, Track & Field

* Won first place in the women’s wheelchair division of the 2011 Chicago Marathon in 1:45:00 – just narrowly missing having set a new course record; the win qualified for her for the marathon event at the 2012 Paralympic Games
* Won four gold medals (200m, 400m, 800m, and 1500m) and a bronze medal (100m) in the women’s T54 division of the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, Christchurch, New Zealand

Alana Nichols, Alpine Skiing

* Won overall World Cup Speed Globe (most overall
points in downhill and Super G
* 3 gold medals in World Cup Finals
* Member of the US Wheelchair basketball team that is competing in London in the Paralympics.

Melissa Stockwell, Paratriathlon

* Won her second straight ITU Paratriathlon World Championship (2011, 2010)
* Named 2011 USA Paratriathlon Athlete of the Year
* 2012, won Inspirational Comeback Award from USA Triathlon
* Won 2011 Accenture USA Paratriathlon National Championship in New York City (TRI-2 division)


Jason Belmonte

* Won three tournaments during 2011-12 season
* Finished second in money winnings·

Mike Fagan

* Had second-best average (227.73)
* Had most match play appearances (14)

Sean Rash

* Led the PBA tour in money winnings ($140, 250)
* Had high average on tour (228.19)
* Won PBA Tournament of Champions


David Beckham, Los Angeles Galaxy

* Second in MLS in assists in 2011 (15)
* Helped Galaxy win MLS Cup

Brad Davis, Houston Dynamo

* Led MLS in assists in 2011 (16)

Dwayne De Rosario, DC United

* The League’s highest scorer in 2011 (16 goals, 12 assists)
* The only athlete in the history of North American professional sports to win an MVP award for a season in which he played for three different teams

Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes

* Tied for MLS lead in goals with 16 during 2011 regular season


Walter Dix

* Won the 100 and 200-meter sprints at the 2011 U. S. Track and Field Championships
* Finished second in the 100-meter race at the 2011 World Championships

Carmelita Jeter

* Won the 100-meter race at the 2011 World Championships
* Became the first American to win that race since Lauryn Williams in 2005

Jason Richardson

* Won the 110-meter hurdles at the 2011 World Championships

Christian Taylor

* Making his first appearance at the worlds, the 21-year-old American jumped a world leading 58 feet, 11 1/4 inches to win gold, beating defending champion Phillips Idowu of Britain


Novak Djokovic, tennis

* Finished as World No. 1, winning a career-best 10 titles in 11 finals en route to a 70-6 match record
* Won three Grand Slams and a record five ATP Masters 1000 titles in 2011

Lionel Messi, soccer

* Became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match
* Smashed the all-time world record for most goals in one season last night – reaching an astonishing 73. The previous record was held by Scotland-born US international Archie Stark, who banged in 70 goals for Yankee side Bethlehem Steel in 1924/25

Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer

* Had 46 goals in 38 games for Real Madrid in 2011-12 season

Yani Tseng, golf

* Led the LPGA in money earned in 2011
* Became the youngest player (age 22) to win five LPGA majors

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