2016- a year in review


Curtis Newton

2016 was the year of the Olympics, ugly politics, and celebrity deaths.

Curtis Newton, Managing Editor

Another year draws to a close. 2016 — the year of Zika, Brexit, and rising threats of terrorism — has given way to 2017. As this new year starts, let’s take a look back on all that happened in the past year, either good, bad, or somewhere in the middle.


2016 marked the year of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, for one. Over 200 groups (note: not countries. Some groups at the Olympics were not specifically part of a country, like the Olympic Refugee Team) competed in Rio. Despite concerns of the spread of the Zika virus and the scandal of Ryan Lochte lying about getting robbed, spirits were high at the games. The United States took home the most medals, amassing a total of 121 in gold, silver, and bronze. “My favorite part was watching Katie Ledecky crush everyone in the 800 meter freestyle,” said Siobhan Rogers ‘17, a member of the HB Varsity Swim team. “I can’t swim that fast in the 100 [meter].”


On a darker note, starting early in January of 2016, celebrities started to pass away at an alarming rate. Starting with David Bowie and Alan Rickman, the list grew to Muhammad Ali, Prince, and Harper Lee, just to name a few. The year ended with the successive deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. “They will be missed,” said Emma Schulz ‘17.


Of course, one cannot forget the politics of 2016. In the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte began his controversial presidency. In the United Kingdom, citizens voted to leave the European Union. In the United States, Donald Trump won in an enormous upset. The politics of said 2016 election were unforgettably stranger than any other election in living memory, what with both parties’ frontrunners highly disliked and the divide between liberals and conservatives growing wider and wider. This year has shown the country that it’s “important to be civically minded,” said Trevor Duval, civics teacher at Hollis Brookline, instead of being “told what to think.”

My favorite part was watching Katie Ledecky crush everyone in the 800 meter freestyle. I can’t swim that fast in the 100 [meter].

— Siobhan Rogers '17

Of course, not everything that happened in 2016 can be compressed into a small article, not even the bigger national and international events; the attempted coup in Turkey; Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest; the Colombian Civil War coming to an end. The list goes on.
2016, despite many online – jokes about the low quality of the year, was not definitively a bad year. For some, 2016 wasn’t bad, just somewhat neutral. 2016 could go down in the history as a bad year. It might not. So soon after leaving the year, it’s hard to say for sure. But looking back in 20, 30, or 40 years, maybe we can come to a consensus. For now, though, maybe we should just focus on the present and see what we can do in 2017.

A quick review of relevant events in 2016, including celebrity deaths and how HB students regard the year (Made by Curtis Newton).