As the year of 2012 comes to an end, we wanted to look back at some of the biggest headlines from this memorable year. Some of these stories made us cry, some made us angry, and some showed us the true strength of the human spirit. So as we say goodbye to yet another year of human history, we should remember these stories for some time to come.
Lance Armstrong’s Epic Downfall
2012 was certainly a rough year for this former seven-time Tour de France champion. Lance faced a doping scandal that would cost him not only his sponsors, but also many of his storied victories and his reputation. Following much deliberation on the matter, the International Cycling Union decided to strip the American sports icon of all of his Tour de France titles.
This will certainly be remembered as one of the most epic downfalls in recorded sport’s history, as Lance has long been idolized by millions of fans all around the world. Of course there will be plenty of people who will take stances on both sides of the fence, but no matter what this was a very sad moment for sport’s fans everywhere.
Chuck Pagano Battles Leukemia
In the beginning of the 2012 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts received some very tragic news as their head coach, Chuck Pagano, was diagnosed with leukemia. Following his diagnosis, Pagano had to step away from football in order to undergo treatment for his cancer. However, the organization remained steadfast in their belief that they would have their head coach back sooner rather than later. In an incredible moment following one of the Colts’ wins, Chuck delivered a moving speech to his team proclaiming that his disease was already beat. Fast forward to December, Pagano has recently finished his final round of chemotherapy, and he could be back in charge on the sidelines for the Colts last regular season game of the season!
Komen Messes Up Big Time
The Susan G. Komen Foundation had built up a great reputation as the nation’s premier breast cancer advocacy group working to raise funding for breast cancer research and spreading further awareness. Unfortunately, this year they made a decision that will surely haunt them for some time to come. In a move that many believe was politically motivated, the Komen Foundation decided to pull their funding for Planned Parenthood. Spokesmen from the foundation stated that the original decision was based on internal regulations that barred them from funding any organizations that are under investigation.
On the other hand, critics claimed that this decision was due to pressure that the foundation was under from anti-abortion activists. In any case, Komen saw swift opposition following this decision (even from many members within their own organization), and they offered an official apology for their actions and reversed their decision.
Hugo Chavez Battles Cancer
The Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has been battling his cancer in secret, but as elections near, the ailing Chavez will not be able to actively participate for the first time in his nearly 14 years in power. Now, the big question is how his illness will affect the ruling apparatus that he has been able to build almost completely on his own. Chavez’s backers are looking to maintain their dominance over the country’s 23 governorships, and if successful, they could forge ahead with the President’s plans to solidify his socialist revolution.
Currently, they look to frame this election in a sympathetic light that highlights Chavez’s legacy in power. Now that he has left for cancer-surgery, the political future of Venezuela has suddenly become much more uncertain.
CPRIT Faces Criminal Investigations
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) was established in 2009. This institute received much initial acclaim, and it also boasted the second largest source of cancer research funding in the nation. Things could not have looked more positive for the future of this institute as Nobel laureates got in line to take jobs there and Lance Armstrong even lent his full support. In 2012, the positive image surrounding this institute was rocked following suggestions that financial and political gain were the real drivers behind the wheel.
Now, CPRIT, a cancer research center in Texas, faces separate criminal investigations, and one of them is by the public corruption unit that was successful in convicting the former U.S. House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay, on money laundering charges. They have begun their investigation by looking to retrieve some pivotal internal emails that CPRIT claims they can’t recover.