You have to admit, 2016 has been a strange old year, and it’s left many of us longing for a brand new, and much more positive year.
However, 2016 hasn’t been all doom and gloom; in fact, some pretty good things happened in the past 365 days; here we give you the top 5.
The first ever Refugee Olympic Team
By far, one of the most moving moments that took place in 2016 was when a group of 10 athletes, all of whom have inspiring stories of their own, walked into the Maracana stadium representing not just their war-torn countries, but the whole world as the very first Refugee Olympic Team.
In a time that has been marked by global unrest, seeing these athletes walk together, bearing no flag nor anthem but instead with pride for who they represented, sent a unifying and hopeful message to the rest of the world.
Solar Impulse 2 – The breakthrough in clean technologies
If there’s something that the recent natural disasters have taught us is that climate change is a real thing and we need to take it seriously. Because of this, scientists all over the world have been working hard to reduce negative environmental impacts through energy efficiency improvements, and they had a massive breakthrough with Solar Impulse 2.
In July 2016, the plane, Solar Impulse 2, completed an epic round-the-world-trip, flying 42,438 km using solar power as its only source of energy. The fact that an airplane can do a journey like this without using a single drop of fossil fuel definitely takes a massive step closer to protecting our planet and that is something that we should all feel positive about.
Leicester City – The underdog crowned champions
Beating odds of 5000 to 1, Leicester City Football Club won the Premier League for the first time in May 2016; showing football experts, fans and the rest of the world, that money comes second to hard work and perseverance. And when we say hard work, we really do mean it, as only the season before, Leicester City just about avoided relegation, finishing 14th in the Premier League.
Whether you are a football fan or not, an underdog story is always inspiring, and the feat that this little team from the East Midlands managed to accomplish is now considered as one of the greatest sporting stories ever told.
British scientists are getting closer to finding a cure for HIV
HIV is a disease that has baffled researchers and scientists for decades however, in 2016, a groundbreaking therapy has managed to clear every sign of the virus from the blood of a British social care worker.
The 44-year-old man was one of 50 people involved in a trial developed by UK scientists that used a combination of drugs in an attempt to destroy the cells carrying the HIV virus.
Although results from the rest of the patients taking place in the trial are still to come through, scientists are positive that this study offers hope of an irreversible cure for HIV as the therapy used is the very first one that has been created to track down and destroy HIV in every part of the body, including dormant cells that have so far, evaded other treatments.
Tim Peake made it back home
On 18th June 2016, British astronaut, Tim Peake, returned to Earth and reunited with his family after spending 6 busy and eventful months in space; giving us one of the most heart-melting moments of the year.
Tim’s tweets of his life at the International Space Station gave the rest of the world the opportunity to admire the beauty of the Universe and our incredible planet. As if that wasn’t enough, Tim also awed all of us when he defied the lack of gravity and ran the London Marathon on the ISS treadmill.