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Guardian readers nominate their person of the year

Gardian readers were asked to suggest who they would choose as their person of the year. Dozens of names emerged – from scientists to sports personalities, from health professionals to climate activists.

And as a sign of the ongoing debate on gender issues, many readers also nominated author JK Rowling and online content creator Ranboo.

Here’s a selection of people you’ve nominated.

Healthcare and frontline workers

A nurse and a health worker during a door-to-door vaccination campaign in the Baksa district of Assam, India. Photo: Dasharath Deka/Zuma Press Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

Healthcare and frontline workers, they showed the best of humanity – selflessness, compassion, endurance, courage as they protected as many of us as possible by risking their lives every day. Kushal, psychologist, India

Eugene Goodman

US Senator Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona Democrat) hugs US Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman as she arrives in the Senate Chamber during a vote at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.  The US Capitol police officer led the violent rioters away from lawmakers in the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack.
US Senator Kyrsten Sinema (Democrat, Arizona) embraces Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who led rioters away from lawmakers during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Photo: Rex/Shutterstock

My pick for Person of the Year is Eugene Goodman, who led the Capitol rioters away from the Senate chambers. He is a real hero. Lynn, retired, Colorado

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg along with fellow climate activists during a demonstration in Festival Park, Glasgow, on the first day of the Cop26 summit.
Greta Thunberg with fellow climate activists at a demonstration in Glasgow on the first day of the Cop26 summit. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA

Greta Thunberg for challenging world leaders to take immediate action on climate change. An amazing young person who calls on all people to do their part to stop climate change. We need more people in the world like them. Anonymous, USA

Vanessa Nakate

Climate activist Vanessa Nakate attends a meeting at the COP26 UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Thursday 11 November 2021.
Climate activist Vanessa Nakate addresses a meeting at Cop26. Photo: Alberto Pezzali/AP

Vanessa Nakate. Young and courageous climate activist representing Africa and much more. Gérard, retired professor of Earth Sciences, Switzerland

Marcus Rashford

Footballer Marcus Rashford will be named an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by the Duke of Cambridge at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford receives an MBE from Prince William at Windsor Castle. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA

What an incredible and inspiring young man. Yes he is a very well paid talented footballer but the dedication and drive he has to raise awareness and work tirelessly on such a major poverty issue as access to food is incredible and so essential. He hasn’t forgotten his roots or what it feels like to have nothing. The way he has challenged and confronted government policy has been brilliant. May his campaign go on and inspire others to do the same. I should add that I am an avid Liverpool FC fan but this goes beyond football loyalties! Anonymously, North Wales

Prof Chris Whitty

Britain's Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty addresses the nation during a Covid update at Downing Street on December 15, 2021 in London, England.
Chief medical officer for England Chris Whitty addresses the nation during a Covid update in Downing Street. Photo: WPA/Getty Images

Prof Chris Whitty for having to publicly present science policy amid a global pandemic at the heart of a toxic and polarized debate. He has remained calm and clear while advising ministers on important policy decisions. He has also been exposed to the public in a way he doesn’t seem to seek and with sometimes pernicious consequences. Top nerd, top guy. To rob, 64, software developer, Hove

Rose Ayling-Ellis

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice raise the Strictly trophy on Saturday, December 21.
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice celebrate winning the Strictly Come Dancing trophy. Photo: Guy Levy/BBC/PA

Rose Ayling Ellis, for helping show that disability can be an absolute gift. She is authentic, genuine, cheerful and an outstanding dancer who has inspired and comforted millions of disabled people, especially the deaf community that is so often marginalized. What a woman! Claire, 31, tutor student counseling and guidance, Brighton

Lady Sarah Gilbert

Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert speaks about the pandemic at the 44th Richard Dimbleby Lecture.
Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert speaks about the Covid pandemic in the 44th Richard Dimbleby Lecture. Photo: BBC

Prof Sarah Gilbert and her team from the Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine Team, for helping to beat Covid and for their fight for non-profit vaccines. Sofia, 56, academic, London

Richard Ratcliffe

Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, holds a 'Hunger For Justice' sign on the 21st and final day of his hunger strike outside the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in Whitehall, marking the UK government called for more to do to assist in her release.  Taken on Nov 13.
Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, protests on the 21st and final day of his hunger strike outside the Foreign Office in Whitehall, calling on the government to do more to help her release. Photo: Vuk Valcic/Sopa Images/Rex/Shutterstock

Richard Ratcliffe. An example of dignity and perseverance in his fight for justice for Nazanin, he has shown [his daughter] Gabriella and all of society what it really means to be a loving father and husband. His tenacity in the face of a seemingly irreconcilable political force is nothing short of astonishing. I cry when I think about it. Anonymous, Staffordshire

JK Rowling

Author JK Rowling poses for photographers as she arrives at the London premiere of 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'.  Made in Nov 2018.
Author JK Rowling at the premiere of the movie Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Photo: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

J.K. Rowling. Great writer and her writing style encourages children to read. Despite having experienced domestic violence in her personal life, she uses her experiences and voice to put women and children at the center of awareness, raising awareness of the vulnerabilities children and women may face in today’s society. She donates to charities, so she is aware of her hard-earned position and wants to give back to those in need. She is very inspiring to women and supports women’s rights, despite people trying to bring her down. Michelle, 45, Wiltshire

Simone Biles

Simone Biles of the United States trains on vault for artistic gymnastics at the Ariake Gymnastics Center in Tokyo, Japan, on July 22, 2021
American gymnast Simone Biles at the Ariake Gymnastics center in Tokyo. Photo: Ashley Landis/AP

Simone Biles, for raising awareness of mental health issues in sport, and for doing good for herself and her health in the face of immense criticism and harassment. She still showed up and supported her teammates with grace and dignity. She is a fantastic athlete and an inspiring woman. Anonymous, UK


A screenshot of Ranboo from RanbooLive.
A screenshot of Ranboo from RanbooLive. Photo: Twitch

“Ranboo”, a young creator of online content, particularly on Twitch and YouTube, who has had a big boost of success lately, and for good reason. He has put a lot of effort into kid-friendly content and has recently earned the most donations to the Trevor project. He’s currently one of the most watched personalities on Twitch, putting him in a position of fame that he’s handled remarkably well: endorsing smart internet safety for younger kids (unknown name or face, watchful of what he says, who can achieve or how it could be misinterpreted). Provides widely accessible streams and videos with ADHD and dyslexia friendly captions, turning off Livestream screens with accidental flashing lights, epilepsy alerts. Anonymous, Australia

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate receives the Team Award on behalf of the Men's England Football Team and Manager of the Year at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2021 at MediaCityUK, Salford.
England football manager, Gareth Southgate, has been named Manager of the Year at the 2021 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. Photo: David Davies/PA

Gareth Southgate, to show what it means to be a leader in modern England. In addition to managing the national team to its best performance in decades, he has been a positive role model in supporting his players and fostering a culture of respect in football. He has not been afraid to be honest and speak his mind, but at the same time he has done so in a way that is not aggressive or hostile. And he has made cardigans fashionable again, for which I am sincerely grateful. Janvier, Orpington