The 2012 sporting year in quotes

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge (L) and London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe attend the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games August 12, 2012.

"These were happy and glorious Games," - IOC president Jacques Rogge at the closing ceremony.

"I did everything I wanted to. I finished my career the way I wanted to," - American swimmer Michael Phelps after retiring with 18 gold medals.

"I hope that this medal inspires the kids at home to put down guns and knives and pick up a pair of trainers instead," - Erick Barrondo, winner of Guatemala's first-ever Olympic medal with silver in the men's 20-kilometre race walk.

Guatemala's Olympic athlete Erick Barrondo waves from a bus during a welcome parade on the streets of Guatemala City, August 13, 2012. Barrondo, who finished in second place during the men's 20km race walk final at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, is the first Guatemalan athlete to win a medal at the Olympic Games.

"I'm now a legend. I'm also the greatest athlete to live," - Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt after retaining his 100 and 200 metre titles.

David Rudisha of Kenya celebrates after winning the men's 800 metres at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, near Paris July 6, 2012.

"Bolt was good but Rudisha was magnificent - it was the performance of the Games, not just track and field," - London 2012 head Sebastian Coe about Kenyan David Rudisha's world record win in the 800 metres.


"I am more worried about being a good person than being the best football player in the world. When all this is over, what are you left with?" - Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi gestures during their Spanish First Division soccer match against Real Valladolid at Zorrilla Stadium in Valladolid December 22, 2012.

"We're talking about a great generation of footballers. This is a great era for Spanish football," - Spain coach Vicente del Bosque after his team won the European championship.


"I'm sure he's smiling from up there that someone has finally managed to do it from Britain. I just hope I can see another British player in my lifetime win a Grand Slam," - Andy Murray after becoming the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the US Open.

Britain's Andy Murray poses with his trophy in Central Park after winning the men's singles title at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 11, 2012.

"I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall. I have fallen several times. Each time I just get up and I dust myself off and I pray and I'm able to do better," - Serena Williams after coming back from a life-threatening illness to win the Wimbledon, Olympic and US Open titles.


"I never got this far in my dreams," - Bubba Watson after winning the Masters in a dramatic playoff with Louis Oosthuizen.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland jokes with girlfriend Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki(not pictured) as he poses with the trophy after the fourth and final round of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai November 25, 2012.

"He's got all the talent in the world to do what he's doing. And this is the way that Rory can play," - Tiger Woods about Rory McIlroy after the Northern Irishman won the PGA Championship by eight shots.

American Football

"This isn't about bragging rights. This is a lot bigger. This is about a team, an organization being named world champions," - New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning after winning his second Super Bowl, one more than his older brother Peyton.

"It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game and this kind of conduct will not be tolerated," - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after announcing a range of penalties following revelations of the New Orleans Saints cash-for-hits scheme.


"It's about damn time," - Miami Heat forward LeBron James after winning his first NBA title.

Miami Heat's LeBron James (L) hugs teammate Dwyane Wade near the end of Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Miami, Florida, June 21, 2012.

"We're all so proud of LeBron. When you get to know LeBron, you don't understand why he was such a lightning rod for the criticism," - Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.


"It sounds cheesy, but your whole life is for this and the reason I got into cycling as a kid was today," - Bradley Wiggins after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France.

A Bradley Wiggins mural is seen on the wall of a pub near to his home in Eccleston, northern England November 8, 2012. Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion Wiggins spent the night in hospital with minor rib injuries after a collision with a van near his home in Lancashire, northern England on Wednesday.

"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," - Lance Armstrong, announcing he would not contest the doping charges against him and his former team.

Residents view an effigy of US cyclist Lance Armstrong ahead of Bonfire Night celebrations in Edenbridge, south east England November 3, 2012. The 30 foot (10 metre) representation of the now disgraced seven times winner of the Tour de France will be burned alongside a traditional representation of British historical figure Guy Fawkes in this year's annual Bonfire Night.

"The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," - statement from US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart.

Motor Racing

"People were not even mentioning us when they were talking about the championship, but I think the most important thing was that we always kept believing," - Sebastian Vettel after winning his third successive Formula One world title at age 25.

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates winning the world championship with his team after the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo November 25, 2012. Vettel became Formula One's youngest triple world champion at the age of 25 at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.

"If the sword breaks, attack with the hands. If they cut off your hands, push the enemy with your shoulders, even with your teeth," - Championship runner-up Fernando Alonso about his battles with Vettel.

Major League Baseball

"It's amazing what a group of guys who play like a team can accomplish. I'm numb that we have won two World Series in the last three years," - San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy after the Giants swept the Detroit Tigers 4-0 to win the Fall Classic.

"I'm a little bit flabbergasted to be honest with you. I never would have thought that we would have swept the New York Yankees (to reach the World Series) and I never would have thought that the Giants would have swept us but it happened," - Detroit manager Jim Leyland.

Ice Hockey

"This is something everyone's dreamed of for their whole lives and this city's dreamed of for 45 years," - Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown after the Kings won the Stanley Cup for the first time.

"We are not prepared to open another season until we have a new collective bargaining agreement," - NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman signaling the start of another player lockout.


"Where else in the world do you get the opportunity to basically kill someone with two bouncers an over? Or try, legally," - South African fast bowler Dale Steyn.

"Cricket is not like a government job where retirement age is fixed at 60. A cricketer can retire at 30 or 60; it's up to the player," - India's evergreen batsman Virender Sehwag.


"It's for other people to judge whether we are the greatest team or not - or if we are a great team," - New Zealand coach Steve Hansen after another dominant season by the All Blacks.

"Today, we witnessed the arrival of a new generation of Welsh rugby heroes - a group of players who have equalled the success of those great Welsh teams of the past," - Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones after Wales won the Grand Slam and the Six Nations.