2016 was a wild ride. From cursed baseball teams to killer clowns, 2016 had surprises in store for everyone. Here is a review for anyone who may have forgotten amongst all the commotion:
The World Series
It’s root, root, root for the Cubbies! For the first time in 108 years, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, something most baseball fans (even most Cubs fans) thought would never happen—considering the team is supposedly cursed. Even the final game of the World Series made a Cubs win seem unlikely when the Cleveland Indians tied it up in the bottom of the eighth inning before a rain delay into the tenth inning. Player Ben Zobrist was voted MVP, fresh off a World Series win with the Kansas City Royals in 2015. On November 2, the night the Cubs won the World Series, the country erupted with excitement as Chicagoans took to the streets and later threw a huge parade—the seventh largest gathering in human history—in the team’s honor.
This year, we faced losses of those we never thought we’d see go. David Bowie passed away of liver cancer on January 10, which he kept unknown to the public. Shortly after, Alan Rickman died on January 14 of terminal pancreatic cancer. Then on April 21, Prince was found dead in his home, but wasn’t discovered until he had already been dead for six hours. The world also lost Gene Wilder, Fidel Castro, Elie Wiesel, and countless others. They will be remembered always.
Leading up to the Rio Olympics, the country faced controversy with instability of their government, health concerns surrounding the Zika virus, and the pollution of Guanabara Bay. (And then, of course, Ryan Lochte infamously caused an international incident.) During the games, 19-year-old Simone Biles wowed the world when she won four Olympic gold medals, setting a new American record for most gold medals in women’s gymnastics in one games. Celebrated Olympian Michael Phelps came out of retirement at age 30, gaining his 23rd Olympic gold medal and leading the U.S. to victory in the 400-medley relay in swimming. Game on, America!
When it comes to trends, fads, and memes, 2016 had its fair share. In July, Pokemon Go was released and people ran around playgrounds, broke into zoos, and even died trying to catch IRL Pokemon. In October, hundreds of “clown sightings” surfaced across the world, some merely with the intent of scaring people and some vaguely threatening. There was even a rumored “clown purge” scheduled for Halloween, but the rumors eventually dissipated. In November, the mannequin challenge surfaced, in which people all over the Internet posted videos of themselves and their friends standing still like mannequins. And of course, who could forget Harambe? When a gorilla is sentenced to death because of attacking a 3-year-old boy and becomes a national meme, you know it’s been a weird year.
The 2016 United States election faced a lot of controversy. With emails, grabbing women by their genitals, and perpetuating rape culture, the two-party system didn’t seem to be ideal for anyone this election. Also steeped in controversy was Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s winning of the popular vote on November 8, while Donald Trump won the Electoral College, sparking a nation-wide debate on the electoral college’s necessity.