"This Week" is wrapping up 2013 with a special look back at the people who broke through and made a difference this year. Click through to see the 2013 "This Week" Game Changers.
|Senator Ted Cruz|
It's hard to remember the last time a freshman senator stole the spotlight so quickly and with such force. Senator Ted Cruz stopped the government in its tracks for sixteen days -- to cheers from Tea Party activists and jeers from Democrats, and some establishment Republicans, too. Cruz is not slowing down and he may be setting his sights on higher office soon.
Edward Snowden, the hacker whose NSA intelligence leaks revealed the U.S. government's secret surveillance operation, has been called a patriot and a traitor. The information set off alarm bells across the intelligence community, angering Americans and America's allies alike. At least one federal judge has called these surveillance programs unconstitutional. Snowden's actions sparked a worldwide debate over the government's use of data mining in 2013, and will reverberate for years to come.
From the moment Pope Francis stepped on St. Peter's balcony as the first pope from Latin America, it became clear that this was the start of a dramatic change in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis is sending a spiritual jolt to the world's billion Catholics and his message of tolerance and caring for the poor has energized believers and non-believers alike.
|Robbie Rogers, Jason Collins, and Edie Windsor|
From the landmark Supreme Court victory of Edie Windsor to the brave coming out of professional athletes Jason Collins and Robbie Rogers, 2013 was a historic year for gay rights.
Malala Yousafzai is the Pakistani teenager who cheated death, surviving an attack by the Taliban. After a full recovery, she continued with her lifelong push for girls education, becoming an inspiring global star. This year, she became the youngest person ever to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala continues to inspire us with her dedication to peace, education, and activism.