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Zelensky and Ukraine named Time’s Person of the Year

(NBC) - A leader reluctantly thrust into the international spotlight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is 2022's Time Person of the Year.

For further context, the political novice captured the attention of billions as Ukraine defiantly stood up to the largest country in the world.

He has also empowered his nation to join the fight against Russian forces.

For this reason, it is why Time Magazine recognizes "Spirit of Ukraine" on the cover.

"When Zelensky said very forcefully, in the very first minutes, this act of courage and said, 'I'm staying. We're going to fight this thing.' It sent a signal to the rest of the hierarchy...that was in a sense, contagious," Simon Shuster, Time Magazine Correspondent, spoke.

A well-delivered line

Furthermore, the TV personality-turned-politician understands the importance of a well-delivered line.

"He had this, you know...very strong ability to hold the attention of an audience. To anticipate what the audience needs and wants, and not to disappoint them. And not to be intimidated by the glare of, you know, a lot of expectant gazes, right, pointed at you," Shuster continued.

Although supporters hail Zelensky as a hero, Time's Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal says that isn't what landed him on the cover.

"It's actually not an award. It's a designation for the person, or sometimes it's an object that most influenced events through the years. Sometimes, that's for good [or] for ill. It's in the in the middle."

Topped the shortlist and Heroes of the Year

Overall, Zelensky topped a shortlist of other contenders included Xi Jinping, The Supreme Court, and for a second year in a row, Elon Musk.

In addition, the women of Iran are Time's Heroes of the Year.

This comes after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, igniting protests across the world against Iran's morality laws.

Athlete of the Year

Time's picks can sometimes come as a surprise.

However, their Athlete of the Year certainly didn't come out of left field.

It came out of right.

This year, it's Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who smashed the American League home record.

Earlier this year, there was speculation about where he would end up.

As of now, the outfielder locked in a record-breaking nine year, $360 million contract with the Bronx Bombers.

Other Time honors

Finally, the other Time honorees are the following:

  • Country music artist Mickey Guyton is the Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
  • Michelle Yeoh, star of Everything Everywhere All at Once, is Entertainer of the Year.
  • South Korean girl group Blackpink are Artists of the Year, offering a catchy soundtrack to a memorable year.
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