Swimmer Missy Franklin accomplished what most professional Colorado athletes couldn't in 2012: She won championships. A lot of them. As an amateur. The 18-year-old Regis Jesuit High School senior was the most decorated female athlete at the London Olympics—and then she declined seven-figure endorsement deals to return home and lead her high school swim team to a 5A Colorado state championship. She may be leaving for the University of California, Berkeley this fall, but we'll keep claiming Franklin as Colorado's sweetheart as long as she'll let us.
The first guy since John Elway to whom most Broncos fans willfully handed the quarterback crown—that is, as long as he engineers touchdown drives that bring Super Bowl rings and parades.