Stars that shine

As 2014 winds down to a close, let’s take a look at some people who made news, events that marked the year, movies and books to remember…

Updated - November 16, 2021 01:17 pm IST

Published - December 25, 2014 05:40 pm IST

Peace fighter: Malala Yousafzai

Peace fighter: Malala Yousafzai

Another year is drawing to an end and without doubt, it was eventful. It took us through some extraordinary achievements of zealous youngsters and gave us a glimpse into things that made us more insightful. There was a moment of celebration when the Mars Mission succeeded and dismay at the disappearance of MH 370, showing us how alarmingly unpredictable life is. Let’s take a look at some people who made it to the headlines and made an impact on our lives.

Peace fighter

Seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She shares this prize with Kailash Satyarthi. She is also the second Pakistani to receive the award after Abdus Salam, a Physics laureate. Malala came to public notice in 2012 when she was shot at by the Taliban for relentlessly pursuing girls’ education and standing up against their oppressive regime. In the last two years, she has won several prestigious awards.

Math wiz

What’s 899+987+273? Are the wheels in your head working overtime to add them up? This 13-year-old can multiply eight-digit numbers, calculate square and cube roots of eight or nine digit numbers, and tell you important dates from the previous century! That’s Granth Thakkar for you. This Math wiz needs neither a pen nor calculator to astound his audience. Thakkar was crowned the world's fastest mental calculator at the Junior Mental Calculators World Championship 2014 (JMCWC-2014) held in Dresden in Germany in October.

Queen of the ring

She was presented the Most Valuable Player award among Indians in the Incheon Asian Games held this October. Not only is Mary Kom the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics and win the bronze medal, she is also the first Indian woman boxer to bag gold in this year’s Asian Games. From being a farmer’s daughter who used to work in fields she has become the undisputed queen of the ring. Mary’s grit and zeal to carve a niche for herself has inspired Sanjay Leela Bhansali to produce a biopic of her!

Sharp shooter

In the Commonwealth Games this year, Nanjappa won the silver in the 10mnm air-pistol shooting event while Australia’s Daniel Repacholi bagged the gold. Yet, it is Nanjappa who’s remembered for his silver. While he was shooting at the Granada World Cup in Spain last year, he was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy — a form of stroke that resulted in facial muscles sagging. Undeterred, he persevered. The result — success and fame from a steady hand and a sure shot.

Fixing finances

The first woman to take on the reins of the U.S. Federal Reserve in its 100-year history, Janet Yellen succeeded outgoing Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. She was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama for the post in October last year. She is deemed a leading architect of the Fed’s measures to revive the economy through the purchase of large-scale assets after the interest rates plummeted to almost zero in late 2008.

Winning gold

Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal beat Laura Massaro and Jenny Duncalf and won the gold at the squash women’s doubles at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in August. Coach Major S. Maniam said: “At this level what counts is how well the players combine. This is a success that I will cherish for long.”

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