A good year for ...
The US president is back for a second term after an election victory that proved slightly less tight than the polls had predicted. Obama has defied a gloomy economic outlook and political gridlock to secure another four years in the White House. His challenge now is to improve the US economy and maintain America's pre-eminence in the world, not least through its pivot to Asia, seen as a means to contain China's rise.
The author became the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, collecting a cheque for 8 million Swedish krona (HK$9.25 million) and the acclaim of the nation. Per Wastberg, chairman of the Nobel Committee, described Mo Yan as a poet who "tears down stereotypical propaganda posters". While he faced criticism for not standing up against state censorship, Mo Yan insisted his novels were rich in politics. The publicity from the prize has also sparked renewed interest in his work, at home and around the world.
Sarah Lee Wai-sze
The cyclist made herself a household name in the city with a bronze medal in the keirin at the Olympics, behind British favourite Victoria Pendleton and China's Guo Shuang. Lee's smile lit up the London Games and she is already being tipped to better her performance on the track at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.