2012 year in Review: Yahoo! Canada's most-searched sports stories of 2012

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: In this handout image provided by The White House, U.S. President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's "not impressed" expression while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office November 15, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Maroney's expression became an internet sensation when during the ceremony for her 2012 Olympic vault silver medal she was photographed giving a brief look of disappointment with her lips pursed to the side. Steve Penny, USA Gymnastics President, and Savannah Vinsant laugh at left. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)
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London Olympics

For nearly three weeks this summer, millions watched as the best summer athletes from more than 200 countries competed for worldwide recognition in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics. While China and the United States topped the medal standings, on their home turf, Great Britain was able to finish third in overall medals and their athletes including Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Andy Murray and Bradley Wiggins provided some of the biggest moments of the Games.

Lance Armstrong doping

In October, the United States Anti-Doping Agency released a report that laid out the details of how Lance Armstrong organized and ran ‘the most successful doping program that sport has ever even seen.’ Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, lost major endorsement deals, stepped down as chairman of Livestrong and soon after resigned from the board of directors of the organization as well. Armstrong’s story represents arguably the largest fall from grace for any professional athlete ever.

Canada’s women’s soccer team

After Canadians grabbed hold of the men’s hockey team in Vancouver the country was looking for a similar storyline to grab onto during the London Olympics. Some felt up-and-coming tennis star Milos Raonic might have a breakthrough at the Games, while others felt it might be a veteran athlete like Clara Hughes or Simon Whitfield. None of the aforementioned stood on the podium and instead it was the women’s soccer team that grabbed the attention of the country. Not considered medal hopefuls heading into London the Canadian women grabbed bronze, the country’s first medal in a traditional team sport in more than 70 years.

Sarah Burke dies in ski crash

Canadian Sarah Burke was a pioneer in freestyle skiing, one of the sports biggest stars having won four gold medals in Superpipe at the X Games and an advocate in lobbying to have it included in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She won that battle, but unfortunately after sustaining severe injuries in a training accident in Utah last winter the 29-year-old died, never having gotten the opportunity to compete in the sport at the highest possible level.

2012 NHL Lockout

Gary Bettman and the NHL owners locked out the players in September after the league and NHLPA were unable to come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. While there’s still a chance to salvage 2012-2013 season, with each passing day the thought of NHL hockey returning this year seems more unrealistic. It was just seven years ago that the NHL lost a full season due to labour disputes and while the league came back and built itself to be more profitable than ever there are pessimists who believe the league will suffer should they decide to cancel another entire season. 

McKayla Maroney not impressed

McKayla Maroney is still grabbing the attention of online media outlets, but it has very little to do with the gold and silver gymnastics medals she took home from the London Olympics. After finishing with a silver medal in the individual vault competition at the Games, Maroney was caught on camera scowling, and her “unimpressed” facial expression has gone viral and become the 16 years old’s trademark. The U.S. women’s gymnastics team recently paid a visit to Barack Obama at the Whitehouse and Maroney was photographed making “the face” alongside the President, who got in on the fun, giving his best rendition of the scowl as well.

Ron MacLean's 9/11 comments

The risk professional hockey players take when they step onto the ice should never be compared to the real life danger some people put themselves into on a daily basis. Yet that was the nature of the comparison Ron MacLean made in his introduction to Game 6 of a playoff series between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers last season. MacLean linked players on the Rangers and Capitals to 9/11 first responders and unsurprisingly his comments sparked reaction on Twitter as many called out the Hockey Night in Canada host for drawing an unwarranted comparison.

Yahoo! Canada's most-searched sports stories of 2012

  1. 2012 London Olympics

  2. Lance Armstrong doping

  3. Canada's women's soccer team

  4. Sarah Burke

  5. Euro 2012

  6. NHL lockout

  7. McKayla Maroney's not impressed

  8. NFL replacement referees

  9. Embarasing Olympic photos

  10. Ron MacLean's 9/11 comments