Football

The Three Sports People Who Made 2012 Bearable

The Three Sports People Who Made 2012 Bearable

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2012 was a great year for sport, but probably not an exemplary one for civilization (ahem). I sometimes wonder what the sportshaters do - the incredible year of sport at least provided plenty of satisfying distraction. From that square in Poznan to the ExCel, we were everywhere this year. We polled various athletes and writers for the 3 people who made their year bearable. There were a few common names, including a certain boxer from Bray.

You'll find a list of them all below.

Andy Lee, boxer
1. Katie Taylor
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Robin Van Persie

Ailis McSweeney, holder of the Irish national record in the 100 metres
I have to stay Irish on this because its all about what made 2012 bearable - and most of the time it's only a great Irish performance that really gives me the shivers!
1. Fionnuala Britton - For her defence of the Euro Cross title in December and an historic team gold - tears were shed! Fingers crossed for Fionnuala in the World Cross Country in March 2013.
2. Katie Taylor - An Irish female sports person who can make an entire country stop come to a standstill and withstand such enormous pressure to bring home gold. Incredible.
3. Rory McIlroy - I wish our time zones were closer to the US for golf purposes but it's always worth staying up when McIlroy is leading the charge on the final day of a tournament. I loved watching him win towards the end of a ropey season, particularly the PGA Championship of course.

Rob Kearney, 2012 ERC Rugby Player of the year
1. Usain Bolt
2. Jessica Ennis
3. Katie Taylor

Colm Parkinson, former Laois footballer
1. Jimmy McGuinness - fairytale year, All Areland and then a job with Celtic
2. Messi - no explanation
3. Jelavic - £5million striker that has transformed Everton into a top 4 team

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Cillian Sheridan, footballer with Kilmarnock
1. Paul McShane - Funniest person I've ever met. Beautiful hair. I'm copying him.
2. Lance Armstrong - because no-one like to talk about success. So biggest failure of 2012 is definitely him.
3. Ryan Bertrand - he played in a champions league final. And won. Buladh bus.

Marcus O'Buachalla, TG4 GAA commentator among other things
1. Katie Taylor - impossible to ignore on any list!
2. Cormac Costello/Eric Lowndes - two young lads finally delivering a minor medal to Dublin at the fifth attempt – to lose four All Ireland finals in two years would have been unbearable
3. Joe Canning - until the replay and his injury he was the hurler of 2012…he also gave the juiciest media event of the year!

PJ Browne, Balls.ie deputy editor
1. Joe Canning
2. Timmy McCarthy
3. Katie Taylor

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Andrew Mangan, editor of Arseblog
1. Mo Farah
2. Katie Taylor
3. Paul McShane

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Sinead Kissane, TV3 sports reporter
1. Katie Taylor
2. David Rudisha
3. Mario Balotelli

Mikey Traynor, Balls.ie contributor
1. Katie Taylor
2. Leo Messi
3. Usain Bolt

Suzy Byrne, editor Maman Poulet
1. Katie Taylor
2. Clare Balding
3. David Weir

Andy McGeady: writer, Balls.ie rugby nerd
1. Mike Trout
2. Leo Messi
3. Paul Kimmage's Jumbo Jet

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Fredorrarci, writer for The Classical, editor of Sport Is A TV Show

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1. Katie Taylor: well, yes, of course. But the gold medal was almost an anti-climax compared to that opening bout and the sight of Taylor finally on her proper stage. It was Sonia on the start line, the footballers walking out for their first game of a major tournament, the anthems before a Grand Slam decider. A rare and precious moment.

2. David Rudisha: Boltmania obscured the track performance of the Olympics. Rudisha ran the first sub-1:41 800 metres in history to win gold. He set such a pace that every other finalist bar one set a new personal best (the last-placed finisher ran 1:43.77). In the context of the big ol' Olympic jamboroo, Rudisha was underhyped, but you couldn't overhype him. He runs like a god.

3. Mario Balotelli: Crazy mofo blah blah blah disgraceful behaviour yadda yadda Mancini's body language bzzzzzzzzzzzz. Balotelli's second goal in the Euro semi-final — every touch the right one, the finish undeniable — purged the miasma of truflais that surrounds him. Temporarily, like.

Shane Bennett: Balls.ie business development guy
1. Paddy Barnes - Kept me very entertained during the Olympics. Top man on twitter.
2. Rory McIllroy, - World number 1, PGA winner, influential in an unbelievable ryder cup.
3. Rob Kearney - Influential in Leinster winning Heineken Cup, which was a huge highlight of 2012 for me.

Will Slattery, Balls.ie contributor
1. Paddy Barnes
2. Richie Sadlier
3. Fake Gerry Thornley

Donny Mahoney, Balls.ie editor
1. Rob Gronkowski
2. Nate Silver
3. Zuar Antia

Donny Mahoney
Article written by
Donny Mahoney is one of the founders of Balls.ie

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