PHOTOPhotograph by Jay Nemeth/Red Bull Stratos/Getty ImagesOCT. 14 | 12:07 p.m. One Giant Leap A remote camera aboard the Red Bull Stratos capsule caught Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner as he jumped from 128,100 feet—more than 24 miles—above New Mexico. Baumgartner, 43, deployed his parachute at 8,200 feet and landed safely, setting a record for the highest free fall. SI Facebook users voted this the Picture of the Year for 2012.
PHOTOMORE THAN MEETS THE EYE Did you see what they saw? And what did it all mean? The story behind the most memorable photograph of the NFL season, page 60
PHOTOPhotograph by Simon BrutyAUG. 7 | 7:12 p.m. Weight Dropper Defending Olympic champion Matthias Steiner of Germany had a spot of trouble with 196 kilos (432 pounds) during the snatch portion of the +105-kg weightlifting competition at the London Games. Steiner was not seriously injured but had to abandon the event.
PHOTOPhotograph by Simon BrutyAug. 11 | 7:46 p.m. Mo the Merrier In front of a thunderous crowd of 80,000, a jubilant Mo Farah of Great Britain won the Olympic 5,000 meters. Farah, one of the host country's heroes, became the sixth man to earn gold in the 10,000 and the 5,000 at the same Games.
PHOTOPhotograph by Nick Wass/APJune 27 | 7:19 p.m. To the Wall And Beyond Mike Trout of the Angels went high to snag a would-be homer by the Orioles' J.J. Hardy at Camden Yards in Baltimore. The centerfielder was named AL Rookie of the Year as much for his glove—this was one of four balls Trout caught above the fence during the season—as for his formidable bat.
PHOTOPhotograph by Josh Thompson/Cal Sport MediaMarch 18 | 12:57 p.m. Cleanup in Aisle 1! Clippers fans got a little extra with their courtside seats during a win over the Pistons at the Staples Center—a lapful of 6'10", 251-pound All-Star forward Blake Griffin as he chased a loose ball. No one was reported injured, though a few refills were required.
PHOTOPhotograph by Greg NelsonApril 2 | 9:04 p.m. Unibrow Unbowed Kentucky's Anthony Davis hauled in one of his 16 rebounds during a 67--59 victory over Kansas in the NCAA championship game in New Orleans. Named the tournament's outstanding player, Davis would soon be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
PHOTOPhotograph by Heinz Kluetmeier with Jeff KavanaughAug. 1 | 8:44 p.m. Duel in The Pool U.S. swimmers Michael Phelps (far left) and Ryan Lochte went mano a mano in the Olympic 200-meter individual medley semifinals. Lochte, the world-record holder in the event, won the semi, but Phelps edged him for gold the next day.
PHOTOPhotograph by Mike PowellAug. 5 | 1:29 p.m. Well Spent Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo knelt in repose after placing second in the women's marathon at the London Games. Both she and winner Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia (in background) bested the Olympic record of 2:23:14; Gelana finished in 2:23:07, Jeptoo in 2:23:12.
PHOTOPhotograph by Al TielemansSept. 23 | 2:11 p.m. RG3 All Out Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III stretched for the end zone on a scramble against the Bengals at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. He was ruled out at the three-yard line in Washington's 38--31 loss.
PHOTOPhotograph by imago sportfotodienstJune 10 | 6:37 p.m. La Danse In an image that called to mind Matisse's masterpiece, Spain's Andrés Iniesta found himself encircled by Italian blue during a Euro 2012 Group C match in Gdansk, Poland. The game ended in a 1--1 draw; three weeks later Spain beat Italy 4--0 in the Euro final.
PHOTOPhotograph by Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesJan. 22 | 7:43 p.m. You're on Candid Coughlin! From a perch in the locker room at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, defensive back Derrick Martin caught a smiling Giants coach Tom Coughlin on video after New York's 20--17 overtime defeat of the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
PHOTOPhotograph by Ian Walton/Getty ImagesJune 15 | 8:33 p.m. Orange Bowl At Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine, the setting sun cast a glow on strange low-hanging clouds—meteorologists call it a mammatus formation—during a Group D match between France and the Euro 2012 cohosts. Play had just resumed after a violent downpour caused a 55-minute suspension; France went on to win 2--0.
PHOTOPhotograph by John Biever12.14.12 | In Memoriam Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel D'Avino, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Dawn Hochsprung, Dylan Hockley, Madeleine Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Nancy Lanza, Jesse Lewis, Ana Marquez-Greene, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison Wyatt
PHOTOPhotograph by Scott Halleran/Getty Images[See caption above]
PHOTOPhotograph by Courtesy of Victor Cruz[See caption above]
PHOTOPhotograph by Matthew Healey/UPI/LANDOV[See caption above]
For an extended 2012 Pictures of the Year gallery, download the SI digital edition, available free to subscribers at SI.com/activate
ALLTIME GREATEST SPORTS PHOTOS
How do this year's shots stack up against the best in history? See the 100 Alltime Greatest Photos, as chosen by SI's editors, at SI.com/mag