Top Female Athletes of 2012: List Features Serena Williams and Olympians

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Dec 27, 2012 11:25 AM EST
Serena Williams Wins... Again
Williams of the U.S. poses with her trophy after defeating Azarenka of Belarus in their women's singles finals match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York
(Photo : REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque ) "

This year, though a lot will remember LeBron James winning his first championship or the New York Giants winning another Super Bowl, it's difficult to ignore what female athletes did in 2012. With the Olympics rolling along, we got peaks at future athletes that should be exciting to watch in years to come. 

Check out our top female performers in 2012. 

Missy Franklin: Let's get this list started with rookies. If you don't know who Franklin is go drown yourself. Wait, she might actually save you as Franklin displayed her world class abilities in the seven swimming events she was a part of in the 2012 Olympics. 

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Missy Franklin
Missy Franklin

Check out these stats. She won a medal in five of her seven events. Four of these five medals were gold. She was one medal shy of matching the Olympic leader, none other than Michael Phelps. Did we mention she was was only 17? Phelps better watch his back.Oh yeah, just to top it off, she established an American record and World record in different swimming events. 

Brittney Griner: She wears No. 42 and stands at an intimidating 6' 8". She can dunk and guided her Baylor Bears to a perfect 40-0 season. You can make fun of her all you want, but she is one hell of an athlete. 

Brittney Griner
Brittney Griner

Griner took her team to the Final Four and won the National Championship with an 80-61 victory over Notre Dame. She finished that game with a double-double scoring 26 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and adding five blocked shots.

She's still active now and should be fun to follow as she is certainly a future WNBA star. 

Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh-Jennings: These ladies rule the beach vollyeball courts. At ages 35 and 34, respectively, this might be the last time we see them in action at an Olympic event. They defeated fellow Americans, Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, in London to capture their third consecutive gold medal. 

Walsh-Jennings and Treanor celebrating
Walsh-Jennings and Treanor celebrating

Who knows when we'll see ladies dominate the sport of beach volleyball the way May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings have done throughout their career.

Serena Williams: Was there another female athlete that matched what this woman did in her respective sport? At age 31, many thought Williams' career in tennis was over, but then she went on a complete tear.

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

She won her first Singles gold medal and captured a second doubles medal in London. Prior to this major victory, she had triumphed at Wimbledon winning her first grand slam title since 2010. Williams struck again at the U.S. Open putting away Victoria Azarenka in three sets to capture her second grand slam.

She won the WTA Tour title after defeating Maria Sharapova and was rightly named Women's Tennis Association Play of the Year.

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