Many people described 2016 as “the worst year ever” and grew increasingly disappointed as the year approached its end. Nonetheless, let’s take a step back and appreciate just a few of the many wonderful things that happened in 2016.
1. Tiger count rises globally for the first time in 100 years.
According to the WWF, the tiger population count in 2010 was at 3,200. It rose to 3,890 thanks to the strong efforts to protect and breed tigers, the highest it’s been in 100 years. The WWF has made a goal to double this number by 2022 through hard work and investments and they have been removed from the endangered list. Other animals, like the Giant Panda, were also removed from vulnerable status.
2. USA brought home gold from the Olympics
Team USA brought home 46 gold medals from the Rio Olympics. Athletes like, Michael Phelps (swimming), Simone Biles (gymnastics), Michelle Carter (track), Jeff Henderson (track), Helen Maroulis (wrestling), Women’s Basketball and so many other amazing record-breaking athletes made America immensely proud.
3. Chicago Cubs beat the World Series curse
After 108 long years, The Cubs became the world champions. On game 7, the Cubs beat Cleveland 8-7 and broke their championship curse, this was huge. Old and young loyal Cub fans cheered and cried, happy to see the day finally come. Even viewers who weren’t particularly Cubs fans felt the joy and excitement of the win.
4. Unemployment rate reaches all time low
In November of 2016, unemployment fell lower than expected, reaching 4.6%. The US government data showed that 780,000 new jobs were added that month. The last time it was this low was in 2006. Although stock markets took a modest hit from this, it was a great step forward and a great end note for Obama’s presidency.
5. Leonardo Dicaprio won his first Oscar
Yes, finally. All the jokes and memes finally came to an end when a very deserving Leonardo Dicaprio won his first Oscar. Dicaprio won Best Actor for his intense role in “The Revenant”. On top of that, he used his acceptance speech and huge platform to talk beautifully about important issues, such as global warming, that he is so passionate about. Well deserved, Leo.
6. Cavs won 2016 Championship
The Warriors led the series by 3-1 and had all the Warriors fans expecting another big win. With Lebron’s leadership, he came back to his home team and won them the 2016 NBA championship (the first major sports championship for a Cleveland team since 1964). Crying of joy after the win, James made his hometown and fans proud. The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Warriors 93-89. Basketball fans everywhere were happy to see Lebron James come back to Cleveland and win the first NBA championship for his hometown.
7. Olympians helped each other up after a fall
New Zealand runner (Nikki Hamblin) and US runner (Abbey D’Agostino) crashed into each other while running the 5000m in the 2016 rio olympics. When Hamblin stumbled and fell forward, D’Agostino crashed into her as she was running behind Hamblin and fell on her side. After D’agostino helped her opponent up, she shortly fell down in pain. The two strangers helped each other up and finished the race together. Forgetting about the competition for a moment, true sportsmanship and humanity were gracefully displayed by these two ladies. A little piece of our humanity was restored that day, and it was a great example for everyone around the world to see.
8. Groundbreaking year for youth movies
The Jungle Book, Finding Dory, Moana, Zootopia, and many other touching kids movies address important issues while providing quality entertainment for kids, teens, and even adults to see. These movies talked about race, gender equality, family, and empowerment in the most adorable way possible. If you haven’t seen these movies, you are really missing out.
9. WOC made election night history
Many women of color had large and historical wins during the 2016 election. Kamala Harris, the first black women to become the senator of California; IIhan Omar, Minnesota politician, the first Somali-American Muslim women to serve as legislator; Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada), the first Latina Senator in US history; Pramila Jayapal (Washington State), the first Indian-American to be elected to the House of Representatives. These remarkable politicians took a huge leap forward for women and gave us some much needed hope for our future.
So, while 2016 may not have been the best year ever, don’t forget to take notice of all the wonderful things that happened this year that provided us with some joy. These are just a few of many. As we get further into 2017, encourage everyone to take on every day as a new opportunity to appreciate all the good things that are happening to us and hold onto them when we need a little cheering up.