Defining Moments

Sometimes circumstances call for decisive action. From our Year in Pictures issue, a photo celebration of those who rose to the challenge.

A firefighter attempts to extinguish a fire which broke out on piles of reed at a paper factory in Changde
A firefighter attempts to extinguish a blaze that broke out on piles of reed at a paper factory in Changde, Hunan province, China. No casualties were reported, according to local media. (Reuters)

Bernard Hopkins, Beibut Shumenov
Light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (left) faces off against light-heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov of Kazakhstan, after a weigh-in in Washington (Luis M. Alvarez/AP)

Edmonton Eskimos v Calgary Stampeders
A cheerleader for the Edmonton Eskimos flies through the air during a Canadian Football League game against the Calgary Stampeders at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium (Todd Korol/Getty Images)

Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week S/S 2015 - Day 7
A model wears a design from the spring-summer 2015 Hu Sheguang Collection during Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week in Beijing (Feng Li/Getty Images)

Nik Wallenda Does Blindfolded Chicago Skyscraper Tightrope Walk
Daredevil Nik Wallenda walks over the Chicago skyline, blindfolded and 183 m above the ground (Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images)

A woman confronts Turkish riot police as they spray tear gas on demonstrators in front of the French consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The protesters are demanding justice for three female Kurdish rebels killed a year ago in Paris. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

Children wait for their turn during an audition for the School of American Ballet in New York
Children wait their turn to audition for New York’s School of American Ballet. The school is holding auditions for more than 600 beginner ballet students to fill the 120 spots available to study on campus. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

An Israeli woman and a Palestinian woman gesture at one another during a protest by Palestinian women against Jewish visitors to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City
An Israeli gestures at a Palestinian during a protest by Palestinian women against Jewish visitors to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s old city (Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters)

66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Press Room
Writer-actress Sarah Silverman hams it up in the press room at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles (David Livingston/Getty Images)

APTOPIX Swab Summer Start
U.S. Coast Guard Academy Cadets Second Class Aurimas Juodka (left) and Sheila Bertrand get in the face of “swab” Kevin Lennox on R-Day, the reporting-in day that marks the beginning of the seven-week “swab summer” for the class of 2018 in New London, Conn. About 250 prospective cadets start the program designed to indoctrinate them into the military life of the academy. (Sean D. Elliot/AP)

Motorcyclist Kalpesh Modi rehearses in Ahmedabad, India, for the annual festival celebrating Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra (Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images)

Philippine President Makes State Of Nation Address
Protestors in Manila, Philippines, barricade themselves against water-cannon spray during President Benigno Aquino’s annual state-of-the-nation address. Thousands staged a rally to protest Aquino’s alleged corruption involving a $3.34-billion fund to boost public spending. Some of the funds went to favoured allies in the lower House of Representatives, reports say. (Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)

Tough Mudder London South 2014
A competitor takes part in the Tough Mudder London South in Winchester, England. The world-famous Tough Mudder is a military-style endurance event over 16- to 19-km obstacle course designed to test all-around strength, stamina, teamwork and mental grit. (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

IAAF World Indoor Championships
Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti wins the men’s 1,500-m final at the Athletics World Indoor Championships at Ergo Arena in Sopot, Poland (Adam Warzawa/EPA)

Nyong'o, best supporting actress winner for her role in "12 Years a Slave", racts on stage at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood
Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress winner for her role in 12 Years a Slave, reacts on stage at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Calif.  (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

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