Dec 28, 2012, 9:58 AM EDT
SI’s writers may have picked LeBron for Sportsman of the Year, but now the fans have spoken, and swimmer Michael Phelps will grace the final cover of 2012 after winning Sports Moment of the Year.
Phelps is only the second cover athlete picked by the fans in the magazine’s 58-year history. He edged out Gabby Douglas for the award when fans picked the finale of his storied career over Gabby’s gold.
Phelps capped his Olympic career with six medals in London, bringing his haul to 22, including 18 gold; twice what any other athlete has won in history.
Other nominees for award were Peyton Manning’s return to the NFL with the Broncos, Usain Bolt’s historic runs in London, and the San Francisco Giants winning another World Series.
- The jump for the ages: Mike Powell, Bob Beamon and a revered world record 0
- Apolo Ohno on Ironman: A milestone among my 8 Olympic medals 1
- Beijing Marathon run through smog (video, photos) 0
- Aksel Lund Svindal injured playing soccer, likely out most of season 0
- Justin Gatlin not among IAAF Athlete of the Year award finalists 0
- Noelle Pikus-Pace: I already miss skeleton, but happily retired 0
- Simone Biles still buzzing after World Championships whirlwind 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)