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Personalities of the Year: Elon Musk, Iceland football team, and Oxfam given top honours by Euronews readers

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Personalities of the Year: Elon Musk, Iceland football team, and Oxfam given top honours by Euronews readers

Personalities of the Year: Elon Musk, Iceland football team, and Oxfam given top honours by Euronews readers
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The votes are in! Euronews asked readers in December for their vote on who should be the 2017 Personalities of the Year—in fields including space, innovation, culture, business, EU and sport. Find out who won and why their achievements caught our readers' attention. 

Musk at an energy summit in New York in 2015 (File)Reuters/Rashid Umar Abbasi

Space Personality of the Year

Winner: Elon Musk

The sky has never been the limit for Musk, who keeps inspiring us all to dream about space. This is one of several reasons why he’s been selected as the Space Personality of the Year by Euronews readers, dominating the polls with 44% of the votes.

The entrepreneurial Musk has continued to grab headlines throughout the year with his plans to send humans to Mars, yet it's in his full-on attack on the satellite launch market that Musk has most made his mark in 2017. His reusable rockets—that seem to magically know how to land back on Earth - are really starting to break down barriers in terms of cost and turnaround time in the highly competitive multi-billion euro business of communication satellites.

Reader Miguel Almeida wrote on Facebook why he supported Musk: "I'd say Musk for the innovations and the person he is. I might be wrong but we have so much good to see from him in the future."

Other nominees: Michele Dougherty (10%), Michaël Gillon (16%), Paolo Nespoli (14%) and Peggy Whitson (16%). Details on all the space nominees are here.

Reuters/Umit Bektas

Sport Personality of the Year

Winner: Iceland football

The Cinderella team of the UEFA Euro 2016 have proven they are not a one-hit wonder. This year Iceland became the smallest nation (population-wise) to ever qualify for the World Cup. Ranked 131 in FIFA’s world rankings just five years ago, the team is now placed at the 21st spot. Next year will also mark the first time the country participates in a World Cup. Euronews readers made clear team Iceland was the sport personality of the year, with 42% of votes, beating out Cristiano Ronaldo.

One reader, Joel Heller, wrote why he supported team blue: "Got to be Iceland. London or Berlin or Paris have more people in [their] town [than the] whole country!!"

Other nominees: Mo Farah (13%), Olympique Lyonnais Women's Team (7%), Cristiano Ronaldo (31%) and Garbiñe Muguruza (7%). Details on all the nominees for sport are here.

An activist from OXFAM wears a mask depicting French President Emmanuel Macron dressed as Santa Claus during a demonstration before the One Planet Summit, two years after the 2015 Paris climate accord, in Paris, France, December 7, 2017. Reuters/Charles Platiau

EU Personality of the Year

Winner: Oxfam

Oxfam was overwhelmingly voted as the most influential personality/institution in the European Union with 48% of votes from readers.

When the EU's attempt to create a blacklist of tax havens was criticised as politically influenced, Oxfam came forward with its own list, influenced neither by fear nor favour. The campaign group has made sure the issue has never slipped from the headlines.

Other nominees: Jeanne Ponte (32%), Viviane Reding (12%), Sven Giegold (5%) and Vera Jurova (4%). Details on all the nominees in the EU catergory are here.

Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in UkraineEurovision

Culture Personality of the Year

Winner: Salvador Sobral

The 27-year-old singer won this year’s Eurovision song contest for Portugal with his ballad "Amar pelos dois" (Loving for both of us), which was written and produced by his sister Luísa. He's also our culture personality of the year with a whopping 63% of votes. 

Salvador Sobral is also a committed activist who drew attention to the European migrant crisis by attending the first semi-final winners' press conference in an “S.O.S. Refugees” shirt. He donated all his CD sales profits to the people of Pedrógão Grande and the relief efforts in the town that was severely damaged by deadly wildfires. Sobral, who suffered from a long-term heart condition, underwent a successful heart transplant in December.

One reader wrote: "Extraordinary and incomparable, Salvador Sobral."

Other nominees: Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman (12%), Adele (9%), Kazuo Ishiguro (11%) and Hito Steyerl (4%). Details on all the nominees for the culture category are here.

Eban.org

Business Personality of the Year

Winner: Albert Colomer

Albert Colomer is a director of Reempresa, a digital system that streamlines the process of transferring ownership of businesses. Every year in Europe more than 150,000 companies and 600,000 jobs are lost because of issues with the business transfer process. Reempresa offers guidance, support, and systems to make this vital process more likely to succeed. The Spanish businessman earned 51% of readers' votes.

Other nominees: Tuomas Mustonen (29%), Lisa Lang (8%), Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk (8%) and Philip Oosterlinck (4%). Details on all the nominees in business are here.

Innovation Personality of the Year

Winner: Ben Madden

Ben Madden is H2ME project coordinator—and winner of our reader poll with 27% of votes in the innovation category. Hydrogen cars have for a long time been identified as a promising technology to fight global warming and climate change. But how do you guarantee they can be charged in sustainable and cost-efficient ways? That's the aim of H2ME project. Madden's job is to work on creating networks of refueling stations for the commercial introduction of these innovative zero emission vehicles. For the full story on H2ME and Madden, watch our special report here

Other nominees: Dimitris Zafirakis (20%), Rosemarijn Looije 16%), Jingyuan Cheng (14%) and Sara Colantonio (23%). Details on all the nominees in the innovations category are here.