Not surprisingly, AskMen's Top 49 Most Influential Men list includes multiple athletes in its 2013 version. But the highest-ranked athlete is a choice that might surprise some: While first place overall went to hotshot tech innovator Elon Musk, second place on the list went to basketball player Jason Collins, whose brave decision to come out as a gay man earlier this year showed that the pro sports world may be widening its horizons.

Collins beat out other athletes whose success stories on the court and field captivated our attentions this year, like the record-setting Peyton Manning (9th place), the triumphant LeBron James (21st), the unbeatable Floyd Mayweather (24th), and the resurgent Kimi Raikkonen (33rd) -- among others. Find out which remaining athletes made the cut by checking out the AskMen Top 49 list, which encompasses the year's most prominent figures (and one fictional character) from tech and politics to sports and entertainment, voted on by over 100,000 readers.

2013 Belonged To These 10 Athletes Slideshow


10. Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist is one of the top goalies in the NHL and had a pretty spectacular season with the Rangers last year. Though he’s off to a rough start this fall, he is the Ranger netminder with the most victories under his belt and has won more shootouts than any goalie in the game. And he’s just as notable off the ice. As one of the most prominent NHL personalities, he is well-known for his keen fashion sense, ridiculously attractive wife and his glamorous life in NYC, where he co-owns a restaurant with Sean Avery. Check out the full list on AskMen.


9. Josef Ajram

Josef Ajram is one of the most extreme endurance athletes on the planet. The Spanish triathlete and day trader has completed seven Ironmans and three Ultramans, and seems to possess an almost superhuman stamina and desire to push his own limits. At 34, he shows no signs of slowing down and is currently competing in one of the most grueling races on the planet. The seven-day Red Bull Seven Islands challenge consists of seven Ironman-length triathlons on each of the Canary Islands. The distances total up to a mind-boggling 982 miles. You can find the rest of the most influential men of the year here.


8. Cristiano Ronaldo

The one-time most expensive professional soccer player is undoubtedly one of the best in the history of the sport. Ronaldo, at 28, isn’t showing signs of slowing down, playing well for Real Madrid and looking forward to leading Portugal in the World Cup next summer. He can even count among his fans none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, who recently declared his admiration for Ronaldo’s impressive physique in a public forum. But though he may garner as much attention for his looks as he does his playing, Cristiano Ronaldo’s legacy will be hard to surpass. Find the rest of the list on AskMen.


7. Kimi Raikkonen

This iconoclastic driver doesn’t follow the rules, and that’s what makes him the most compelling character in F1. Raikkonen may not talk much in interviews, but he has a reputation for being a bit of a playboy, which may or may not have contributed to his recent separation from his wife. In September, he announced he was leaving the Lotus team to return to Ferrari, candidly telling reporters that it was for financial reasons, and is currently in third place in the Drivers’ Championship. But no matter what team he’s on, Raikkonen will always be one of the most fun drivers to watch. Find the rest of AskMen's Top 49 Most Influential Men of The Year is here.


6. Andy Murray

Andy Murray has a knack for winning when England hosts crucial tournaments. The Scottish superstar won glory for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, taking home gold in the men’s singles category, and this year emerged victorious at Wimbledon after a hard-won fight against Novak Djokovic. His Wimbledon win broke a 77-year British dry spell, so needless to say, he’s a major hero at home. Currently ranked at No. 4 in the world, Murray, at 26, is clearly set to accomplish much more in tennis and will continue to battle his fiercest rivals in thrilling games to come. Check out the rest of the list on AskMen.


5. Jon Jones

In 2011, Jon Jones became the UFC’s youngest-ever world champion, and his career has only progressed from there. UFC President Dana White has called him the "most accomplished" light-heavyweight fighter ever, and, on September 21st, he quieted any doubters after emerging victorious from an epic battle with Alexander Gustafsson. He will next defend his title from Glover Teixeira, though no date has been confirmed yet. As Jones continues to contend with challengers, we only know one thing for sure: That he is one of the best MMA fighters of all time. See what other men made it to the list here.


4. Floyd Mayweather

Is Floyd Mayweather superhuman? It certainly seems like the professionally undefeated boxer possesses a special kind of skill. The 36-year-old has proven himself time and time again since 1996, and his mettle was tested most recently in September in the most epic fight of the year. In his bout with Saúl Álvarez, Mayweather not only came out victorious but took home a record-breaking $41.5 million in prize money. Though he will continue to be challenged by both up-and-coming and experienced fighters, Mayweather is, undoubtedly, the greatest boxer of our time. Check out what other men have won the heart of AskMen's readers here.


3. LeBron James

King James is riding high as ever, both professionally and personally, coming off a championship season with the Miami Heat and and his wedding to longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson. It’s safe to say that James is the best basketball player in the NBA, and his back-to-back championship wins and MVP titles prove it. No longer the wunderkind he once was fresh out of high school, he has a fully cemented status as a legend, and will continue to wow basketball fans with his ultra-skilled level of play. See what other men made it to the list here.


2. Peyton Manning

The biggest surprise of the NFL season is undoubtedly Peyton Manning. The 37-year-old is having a spectacular year, defying his age and the expectations of everyone in the know. The quarterback has been leading the Broncos to victory, all the while earning more impressive beginning-of-the-season stats than any other QB in history. Part of Manning’s success seems to come from his refusal to check out mentally, and he’s been quoted as saying that he still has a lot to learn. Let his late-career resurgence serve as a lesson to all of us who start giving up after 30. Check out the rest of the list on AskMen.


1. Jason Collins

Jason Collins will go down in the history books for being the first active pro athlete to come out as gay. Few people expected such a milestone in sports when he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in May, and even fewer expected it to happen in the NBA. Though Collins, who is not signed to a team right now, may have an uncertain future in basketball, he will always be remembered for having the courage to do what no other athlete has done before and for making the sports world a more open and tolerant place. See what other men topped this year's AskMen Top 49 Most Influential Men.

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