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The Year in Awesome: most heartwarming stories of 2012

Dec 31, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT

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These are the stories from this year that warmed the cockles of my heart. And as Woody Allen once said, there’s nothing like hot cockles.

11. When you lose, you win. Tennessee middle schooler lets opponent with cerebral palsy pin him in school wrestling match.

 

10. Safe at home. Videos of soldiers returning to surprise their kids have pretty much powered me through the year.

9. It’s gold, Jerry. Gold! Ryan Lochte won a bunch of medals at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Turkey, and immediately began giving them away to kids in the stands.

8. Because we are all Warriors. Martin High of Arlington, Texas, brings back the Lip Dub to help a classmate who has cancer.

 

7. WWE star lets kid tap him out. Seven-year-old Connor Michalek of Shaler Township, PA, has cancer of the brain and spine, but despite several surgeries has kept up his fighting spirit. When pro wrestling star Daniel Bryan heard about the boy’s battle, he stepped in with a tremendous gesture.

6. Antone Exum shopping spree. The Virginia Tech defensive back and his teammates each received a $470 gift card as part of their Russell Athletic Bowl swag, and what does Exum do with his? Uses it to treat three random kids to a bunch of gifts at Best Buy. #Winning.

5. Warden threw a party in the county jail. This is possibly the most awesome thing ever.

 

4. Dad loses it over ‘Bama BCS tickets. “Holey Moley!”

3. High school football players use powers for good, not evil. If this last quote doesn’t melt your heart, you didn’t have one to begin with.

2. Never Forget. Chris Johnson wore the names of each Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victim on his shoes.

1. David Beckham Olympic surprise. Random British folk were asked to pose in a photo booth to support the London Olympics, but got the surprise of their lives when David Beckham popped in to share the photo.