12/31/2012 08:19 am ET

25 Athletes Who Had The Best Year Ever In 2012

Ebb and flow over the course of a sports career is only natural. It's almost impossible for an athlete to maintain a place on a 'best of' list like this year-after-year.

Championships, All-Star honors, huge new contracts, coming back from a devastating injury—these are all factors that come into play when evaluating who deserves to be on this list.

Here are the 25 athletes who had the best year ever.

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