Time released their 2012 “The 100 Most Influential People in the World,” and six athletes were named to the list: Jeremy Lin, Tim Tebow, Novak Djokovic, Yani Tseng, Lionel Messi, and Oscar Pistorius.
Lin made the list for coming out of nowhere to save a desperate Knicks team, averaging 14.6 points and 6.1 assists per game during a stretch helped save New York's season.
“Jeremy cares only about one thing — winning. And I don't care whether you are an Asian-American kid, white, black or Hispanic, Jeremy's story tells you that if you show grit, discipline and integrity, you too can get an opportunity to overcome the odds.”
Another standout was Tebow, who not only saved the Broncos’ season and led them to a first-round playoff victory over the Steelers but also for the compassion he displayed toward his fans.
“He realizes what he has been blessed with and seeks to help those who are worse off. As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that.”
The number one tennis superstar, Djokovic also topped the list due to his outstanding effort to reach the top spot in his sport. He has won five grand slams singles titles and has been the sixth male player in the open era to win three Majors in a calendar year.
"It's the result of the really hard work that I put into it," says Djokovic, 24, now a national hero in his native Serbia. Lastly, Lionel Messi was also on the list due to his outstanding performance on the pitch, his passion for the sport, and how he defies all odds in regards to size. In 32 games this season, Messi has scored 41 goals with 13 assists.