From Samantha Bee and Bernie Sanders to Simone Biles and Beyonc, some figures made a big mark in the worlds of politics, sport and entertainment
For some people in the US, 2016 wasnt all bad. While the news cycle around them projected prominent incidents of death and despair, they managed to do their best work in spite of 2016s worst fortune, and in many cases, because of it.
Here are some of Americas winners of 2016.
Samantha Bee, the only female host on late-night TV, revealed herself as one of the sharpest and funniest tongues criticizing Donald Trump.
After years as a Daily Show correspondent, Bee launched Full Frontal With Samantha Bee in February this year. Her show is known for having one of the most diverse writing teams in television, and instantly began telling stories not just from a white dudes perspective.
The first lady is the most popular person on the American political stage, according to a WSJ/NBC poll in October, which found 59% of people had a favourable opinion of her. She was the Hillary Clinton campaigns go-to surrogate in 2016, giving speech after speech in key swing states in an effort to shore up the vote and offering a warm, open contrast to Clintons more reserved personality.
Before she took to the trail, Obamas speech at the Democratic national convention was every bit as soaring and memorable as her husbands breakthrough address in 2004. Many in the crowd wept as Obama recapped the strides made as a result of her husbands election and looked ahead to what Clintons election would do for the country.
George Clooney called Donald Trump a fascist, Lupita Nyongo took on Hollywood racism, Elton John discussed money and Eddie the Eagle admitted he skied like an ostrich what we learned in a year of Guardian interviews
I think given that there were about half a million people there, Id say that 499,000 had a good time. Which is not bad on the average, you know? And one man died, but a baby was born, so the same number came out as went in. If that hadnt happened, it would have been considered a Woodstock on the coast. All it takes is one sucker with a knife.
I dont believe in the Nietzschean notion that what doesnt destroy you makes you stronger. You see these soldiers come back with PTSD; theyve been to war and seen death and experienced these existential crises one after the other. There are traumas in life that weaken us for the future. And thats whats happened to me. The various slings and arrows of life have not strengthened me. I think Im weaker. I think there are things I couldnt take now that I would have been able to take when I was younger.
I believe women should be allowed to make the decision, but I also think the church is right to say its a sin. Because sin is actions that harm us. Lying harms us. Abortion harms a woman its a tremendous mental attack, and physical, sometimes. But we seem to get that muddled. In a way, thank God the Catholic church does say we wont allow it, because otherwise nobodys saying that its a sin.
Trying to live was getting too tiring. I was with my daughter, and I said, Im sorry, I just think Im going to have to give up, knowing shed be unhappy, of course. And she was wonderful. How did Joely (another successful actor) encourage her to keep living? By telling me I could. Her saying I could give up released me.
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