2016 has been a doozy in many different ways, and may well be one of the most historic years in the past decade. Rapidly closing in on the end of the year, I often evaluate the past 12 months on a personal and macro scale. Even though many people would say that 2016 is one of the worst years ever, I would describe 2016 primarily as a combination of surprises and upsets, with the usual silliness sprinkled in. I agree that 2016 hasn’t been that great of a year, as I believe there were more lows than highs. I certainly wouldn’t want to relive 2016, though I appreciate all the high points that made 2016 a bit more awesome. Here are five of the most memorable moments of 2016:
1. The presidential election
The U.S. presidential election has always been a staple the years it’s been held. This election, however, has not been anywhere near as normal as the ones I have witnessed in my lifetime. Different types of demeaning rhetoric were spewed out from both sides, and even hearing the names of the presidential candidates over and over again hurt my brain. Now that the presidential election is over, I just want to fast forward to the next one. The result of the presidential election was surprising, as going into election night, many polls told otherwise. The Republican presidential nominee had pulled an upset, and will now set an example for millions of people as the president-elect of the United States. Many people were devastated by the results and I don’t blame them. It’s time to move forward.
2. The Olympics, the Cubs and the Cavs
On the other side of the spectrum, 2016 was a great year for sports. The NBA Finals included an amazing and classic rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, who were the champions of last season. The Cavaliers were able to rally back up to win the 2016 title from a 1-3 deficit to a 4-3 victory. A similar instance occurred in the MLB World Series, when the Chicago Cubs reclaimed the title after waiting 108 years. Let’s not forget the Rio Olympic Games this past summer. Many people had their doubts about the Olympics, but by the end, it was successful and didn’t have any huge hiccups.
3. The ridiculous #challenges
I have no idea how some of these challenges became as popular as they did, but I’ll admit that some were impressive. I was most intrigued by the Bottle Flip Challenge and the Mannequin Challenge. The Bottle Flip Challenge was by far one of the most ridiculous challenges I have ever heard about. It’s essentially flipping a bottle in the air and making it land upright, and people would overreact about it. The challenge served absolutely no purpose other than being ridiculous. However, the Mannequin Challenge that went viral required a bit of skill. I saw a few that were very ingenious and often found myself going through some of them just to see how creative they were. Here’s a ranking of The Daily Free Press’ top five Mannequin Challenges.
The internet is equally amazing as it is silly. It’s a medium to spread information, but also to spread absurd memes. One of the most memorable memes of 2016 was Harambe, the silverback gorilla that was shot and killed in a zoo this summer. When I first saw the news, I was horrified. It sparked debate over the procedures of zoos, and whether the decision that this zoo made was right or wrong. However, the internet took this and created a whole meme out of Harambe. I’ll admit that I chuckled at some Harambe memes, but it doesn’t erase the fact that it was a horrific story.
5. Pokemon Go
2016 was a good year for video games as well. Long anticipated games such as “Final Fantasy XV” and “The Last Guardian” finally came out after roughly a decade. On top of that, virtual reality is now a real thing. However, the game that took the world by storm is the mobile game Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go was released in July and became a global trend. The trend died down by the end of summer, but the release of Pokemon Go was special because it was a time when even non-Pokemon fans were excited to play the game and relive their childhood memories.