What a year it was! The year was dominated by a number of news stories that elevated people and places into the high echelons of our consciousness and people who were once unknown became famous or infamous. The sporting calendar was dominated by the Olympics and it had its fair share of winners and losers. Here then, is a list of ten for 2012 and not all are related to the Olympics.
1. Andy Murray – Winner
The first British Wimbledon finalist in more years than the country would care to remember would automatically mark him as a winner in the eyes of many. He has won many titles in his career and this is the biggest in any Tennis year. The fact that he lost to Federer 3-1 in the final at Wimbledon had the country proud. However, it was at the Olympics when the two met in a rematch that Murray really shone, beating the Swiss player in straight sets and taking home the gold medal.
2. London – Winner
The Olympics were a roaring success for the city and the United Kingdom had its fair share of medals once again. But it wasn’t just the Olympics and its success as a ‘people’s event’ that engaged the whole country and encouraged sporting fever all over the island, but also arguably the most successful Paralympics in the history of the event. Transport during both events was praised, organisation was impressive and the city came alive in what was also Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee year.
3. Carl Froch – Winner
Recently rated by fans as the best British boxer for years, he claimed his fourth super middleweight world title in 2012 and unified two belts. This wasn’t his only achievement in the year, however. Not to be outdone, Froch was also voted best pound for pound boxer at the end of the year and was voted fighter of the year by boxing authorities and influential media outlets alike.
4. Jennifer Lawrence – Winner
Few had heard of her before the beginning of the year but 2012 saw her rocket to fame. Nominated for her role in ‘Winter’s Bone’ at the Academy Awards, people started to sit up and take notice but it was her appointment ‘ and her subsequent success – as the protagonist Katniss in ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy that saw Lawrence catapulted onto the world stage. She has already started to make waves in 2013 with an Oscar for her role in Silver Linings Playbook.
5. Samsung – Winner
Until 2012 they were considered yet another Japanese electronics company. Though reliable, there was nothing to set them apart from most other electronics companies. So what explains their meteoric rise in popularity throughout 2012? Was it slotting into the bridge between home electronics and business use with the Samsung Galaxy Note? Or perhaps challenging Dell in the home computer market? Was it the reliability of the technology? Whatever it was, Samsung is now a leading electronics business and nobody saw them coming up the inside.
6. People Who Didn’t Get Olympics Tickets – Losers
If the games were a success then there is one group of people who remained rightly disgruntled right through the event. Complaints of a lack of organising in ticketing were rife including those who were not offered earlier rounds to preferred events having to reapply and still not getting what they wanted. Then, when the games arrived it appeared that there were a large number of empty seats. Complimentary tickets were given out to corporate sponsors but not taken up and organisers moved quickly to pressurise businesses to use them or surrender them.
7. Mitt Romney – Loser
He had the entire weight of the Republican Party on his shoulders in a Presidential election that nobody predicted he would win. Accusations of a party too concerned with derailing Obamacare instead of setting their own agenda meant that he could not have beaten a still popular incumbent President. Very little was said about what they intended to do or why Romney would make a good President and the inevitable happened.
8. Italy – Losers
One of the greatest nations on the world football stage, Italy has won the FIFA World Cup on four occasions and the Euro Championships just once. However, expectations were high when they met World Champions Spain in the final. It was acknowledged that the Spanish side was not as good as they had been at the two previous major international tournaments. Most still thought that Spain would win but nobody predicted that they would win 4-0 against an Italian side that spent the game seemingly asleep.
9. Blackberry – Losers
If Samsung went from strength to strength then the management at RIM must be looking back at 2012 wondering where it all went wrong. In June, they reported disastrous financial losses ‘ the first time in eight years ‘ leading to a hasty rethink for the rest of the year. They delayed the launch of their next generation phones until 2013 in order to better understand where the company is failing. Generally accused of failing to adapt and trying to take on Apple in the general consumer market has led to the Blackberry handset falling out of favour in both markets.
10. Mastercard and AMEX users at the Olympics – Losers
‘We Are Proud to Accept Only Visa’ ‘ perhaps they were but the British public were not impressed that Visa were the only method by which they could purchase tickets and buy official merchandise at the events. This backfired when the Visa payments system crashed meaning that retail outlets could only accept cash. Visa faced a further backlash against influential consumer group ‘Which?’ and organisers promised to look into such policies at future events.
This is only a selection of the biggest names and events of 2012 and there are far more from the worlds of politics, sport and media who made the year what it was. What will 2013 have in store for us? More new names? More of the same? One thing is for sure, if it is as memorable as 2012 then it should be a good one.