Top 6 most triumphant stories of 2010

Sixteen-year-old Australian sailor Jessica Watson sailed around the world, returning on May 15, 2010. Shown here, at a press conference in Sydney. Greg Wood/ AFP PHOTO / FILES / Newscom

Most 2010 lists of major news will include the Gulf oil spill, the Haiti earthquake, the Republican midterm election sweep, and WikiLeaks. But we saw many events that also inspired or amazed or brought a smile. Here's our top 6 list.

1. Sail solo around the world? Check.

  • close
    Sixteen-year-old Australian sailor Jessica Watson sailed around the world, returning on May 15, 2010. Shown here, at a press conference in Sydney.
    Greg Wood/ AFP PHOTO / FILES / Newscom
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

At 16, Australian Jessica Watson became the youngest to sail alone around the world. After 23,000 miles aboard her 34-foot long Ella's Pink Lady, Jessica steered triumphantly into Sydney Harbor on May 15, 2010. During seven months at sea, she said she struggled against homesickness, loneliness, and boredom. Those wild storms that nearly sunk her boat were no fun either.

Australia's prime minister called her the country's newest hero. But Jessica didn't see it that way: “I’m going to disagree with the Prime Minister. I don’t consider myself a hero. You don’t have to be someone special to achieve something amazing.”

You might call this a victory over helicopter parenting. Or a triumph of technology that now enables email even on the high seas. Ultimately, though, it was Jessica who had to have the courage and determination to see this dream through to completion.

Still, her feat was not without controversy

Jessica followed in the wake of two other teen sailors, Californian Zac Sunderland, and Briton Mike Perham. Both were (slightly) older than Jessica, but given the risks and the number of teens going for this record now, sailing organizations are trying to discourage it by no longer officially keeping track of the youngest.

The question of "how young is too young" was brought up too, when 13-year old Jordan Romero became the youngest to summit Mount Everest. The American boy climbed with his father, his father's girlfriend, and three Nepalese sherpas.

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Laura Dekker, continues her solo circumnavigation of the globe. After being initially barred from leaving by Dutch child welfare authorities when she was 14, Laura sailed across the Atlantic in December.

"There were two or three moments that I thought, "Okay, why the hell am I doing this?" but they were not for very long. If I feel really lonely I can always call my parents or something so then it's over,' she told the London Daily Mail.

1 of 6

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK