A year in review

When the ball dropped at 12am on January 1, 2013, I couldn’t help but think about how fast 2012 had gone by. Didn’t June just pass by a few days ago? I honestly couldn’t believe that the year had gone by so fast. To be honest, I don’t know if anyone truly realizes how fast life passes by until they’re looking up at the sky, watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks ring out the old year in order to bring the new one in with a bang.

A year in review
A year in review

It’s always exciting, but one of the best parts of the New Year (other than the sandwich trays and the fun party hats with the next year on them) is realizing how far everyone has come. When I say “everyone”, I especially mean those who took a risk last year, not caring if the risk worked out in their favor or not.

But I especially mean those people who helped fight for issues that matter. From same sex marriage to the presidential election, 2012 was the year that people stood up to say “We have a voice and we are not afraid to use it.” 2012, you were one heck of a year, but I for one am ready to see what 2013 is going to bring us. Here are the top 12 moments of 2012, in no order:

• South African double amputee Oscar Pistorius caused quite a stir when he showed up to the 2012 Olympic Games. During the first two days of track and field in London, Pistorious quickly captured the world’s attention. Pistorious, also known as “The Blade Runner” became the first double amputee to race in the Games.

He was also the first athlete to come in both the Paraolympic and Olympic games as well. Pistorius sprinted the 400 meters in 46.54 seconds, sadly failing just short of the finals. Whether win or lose, Pistorious states that stepping on the track “was something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

• On October 22nd, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire announced that she would not file another appeal in M.R. v. Dreyfus, which prevented the Supreme Court from reexamining the disability community’s most cherished victory at the high court.

• On December 10th, 2012, St. James’ Palace announced that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (also known as simply “the Duchess”) was pregnant with her first child and had been admitted to a hospital, due to her suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. She remained in the hospital for 3 days.

• On June 28th, 2012, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. The purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to get more Americans to sign up for health care and to reduce the overall costs of health care. The act was also known as the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law, but it is more commonly known as Obamacare.

• On December 14th, 2012, a 20 year old named Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town of Newtown, Connecticut. It is the second-deadliest school shooting in US history, after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. It is also the second-deadliest mass murder at an American elementary school, after the 1927 Bath School bombings in Michigan.

• On July  20th, James Eagan Holmes fatally shot 12 people and injured 58 others in a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises. It has been reported as the most victims of any mass shooting in United States history. It is also the deadliest shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre, which occurred on April 20th, 1999.

• In June 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charged Armstrong with having used illicit performance-enhancing drugs, and in August, it announced a lifetime ban from competitions, as well as the stripping of all titles won since August 1998.

• On September 12th, Apple unveils its iPhone 5 and iOS 6. The 6th generation (!) iPhone was officially released on the same day.

• During late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated portions of the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. It became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. Preliminary estimates of losses due to damage and business interruption are estimated at $65.6 billion, which would make it the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane, behind only Hurricane Katrina. At least 253 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries.

Psy’s “Gangnam Style” becomes the first video to reach one billion views on Youtube.

• On October 9th, 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot by a Tailban gunman as she rode the bus home after attending school for the day. Yousafzai is a Pakistani school student and education activist, who is known for her views on education and women’s rights. The assassination attempt received immediate worldwide media coverage and produced sympathy, along with widespread anger. On January 3rd, 2012, she was released from the hospital and will continue her rehabilitation at her family’s temporary home in the West Midlands. She will have cranial reconstruction surgery in the upcoming months.

• The Curiosity rover successfully landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012. A rover is a car-sized robot. The rover is exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission.

And there you have it! The top 12 moments of 2012! What moments were your favorites? Your least favorite? What do you hope to see in 2013?


Why hello there! My name is Katherine and I'm currently a freshman in college. I started working for Disability Rights Washington as a freshman, and I have enjoyed working for here so far. I write a column called What are We Talking About, which is great since it allows me to read new and interesting stories and to tell all of you guys about it. Anyway, have a great day! :D