Heartwarming moments in 2016

Posted at 7:30 PM, Dec 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-30 19:30:51-05

While 2016 has had some lows, there were plenty of heartwarming moments in the news through the year.

Prince George in his bathrobe

Just when we thought he couldn’t get any cuter, little Prince George won hearts when he was allowed to stay up past his bedtime to say hello to US President Barack Obama when he visited London in April.

The look the then-two-year-old rocked? A snuggly monogrammed bathrobe, which promptly sold out in stores.

The President, who has posed for lots of cute pictures with kids during his time in the White House, shook the little prince’s hand in an image that melted hearts around the world.

Runners Abbey D'Agostino of the US and NZ's Nikki Hamblin epitomized the Olympic spirit Tuesday.

Runners Abbey D’Agostino of the US and NZ’s Nikki Hamblin epitomized the Olympic spirit Tuesday.

True Olympic spirit

There were plenty of emotional highs and lows during the Rio Olympics, but one of the lasting memories will surely be the display of Olympic spirit shown by Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand and Abbey Dagostino from America.

As Hamblin competed in the 5,000 meters she stumbled and fell, accidentally tripping Abbey D’Agostino of the US. D’Agostino helped Hamblin back to her feet and when it turned out that the American had injured her leg in the incident, Hamblin helped her up and stayed by her side to make sure she was OK.

D'Agostino and Hamblin hug after their 5,000m race.

D’Agostino and Hamblin hug after their 5,000m race.

Another moving moment on the running track came courtesy of the British Brownlee brothers, Jonny and Alistair in September.

Younger brother Jonny, Olympic silver medalist from Rio, was leading the field at the World Triathlon Championships in Mexico – but he was suffering in the 30 degrees Celsius heat.

Just as he was about to collapse with exhaustion, his double Olympic champion brother Alistair arrived to give a helping hand, putting an arm around his shoulders and hauling him over the line.

Kindhearted letter

With stories of war and suffering in Syria dominating the headlines through the year, a six-year-old boy from New York was particularly moved by the plight of Omran Daqneesh, a little boy injured after his home in Aleppo was bombed.

The image of five-year-old Omran alone in an ambulance, covered in dust and blood, shocked the world and inspired Alex, from Scarsdale, to write to the White House, asking President Obama to bring him home so his family could adopt him.

“We should all be more like Alex. Imagine what the world would look like if we were,” responded the President.


Appeal goes viral

The old as well as the young melted hearts too. The sight of a stooped Fidencio Sanchez, 89, selling popsicles in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood moved one customer so much that he started a GoFundMe page seeking money to help him retire.

Within hours, support from all over the world started to pour in — ending up with more than $380,000 for the hardworking elderly gentleman.

In fact the Windy City was a big hitter this year when it came to happy news. In November, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series championship in 108 years. Millions of fans swarmed the streets to celebrate.

Fidencio Sanchez, 89, has been selling paletas, or popsicles, in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood for as long as almost anyone can remember.

Fidencio Sanchez, 89, has been selling paletas, or popsicles, in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood for as long as almost anyone can remember.