Monday, December 31, 2012

Greatest People of 2012

In no particular order, here are the people who stand out to me as the best and most memorable figures of 2012. 

The Fierce Five
As y'all know, one of my highlights of 2012 was watching the Summer Olympics. And my favorite moment of those two memorable weeks was witnessing Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Kyla Ross become the first group of US women gymnasts to win Olympic team gold since 1996. In addition, I enjoyed watching Gabby win gold in the all-around competition, and Aly Raisman winning gold with a breathtaking performance in the floor exercise event final. And while I hated that McKayla fell in the vault finals, the "McKayla is not impressed" memes that went viral over the Internet afterwards were pretty funny. She showed great class by apologizing for coming across as a poor sport, and it was admirable that she responded to the memes by simply laughing at herself.

Missy Franklin
My obsession with the Summer Olympics continues. Missy Franklin dominated the women's swimming competition while wearing pink googles and pearl earrings. What's not to love about her?

Victoria Soto
The final month of 2012 brought what is probably the most heartbreaking and sobering news story of the year. Victoria Soto, a 27-year old first grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary in CT, died in the process of shielding her students from the gunman that tragic Friday morning.

Nastia Liukin
Nastia Liukin did not return from London with the hardware of the Fierce Five. In fact, she didn't even compete in London. However, the strength and courage she displayed at the Olympic Trials makes her a memorable figure of 2012 in my eyes. Nastia entered 2012 as the defending Olympic all-around champ, holder of the most prestigious prize in women's gymnastics. She could've retired while she was on top. Yet she decided to come back and attempt to make her second Olympic team, which is a rare feat these days in women's gymnastics. During the Olympic Trials, she fell off the uneven bars and landed flat on her face, and it looked downright painful. She could've quit right then and there, knowing that her bid towards a second Olympics was certainly over. Instead, she got back up and finished her routine. As this article says, her dad/coach always told her to "finish what you start. No matter how painful it may be." This lesson extends beyond sports and we should all take Nastia's example to heart in our lives. One of our Christmas ornaments contains this quote: "the greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in getting back up after you fall." Nastia did exactly that. Also, even though she suffered a horrible fall in her final meet, she doesn't have to spend the rest of her life wondering "what if I had tried to make a second Olympic team."

Prince William and Duchess Kate
I never get tired of hearing about the royal couple. They deserve a spot on my Memorable People of 2012 list because in addition to being classy and fabulous they have announced that Kate is pregnant with a royal baby! 

Who all makes your Remarkable People of 2012 list?

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