"They are the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world. Meet the breakouts, pioneers, moguls, leaders and icons who make up this year's TIME 100," reads the TIME website. The annual list reads like a Who's Who of 2012, and this year's list includes Tim Tebow, Jeremy Lin, Stephen Colbert, and Kate and Pippa Middleton.
Jeremy Lin, a fellow New York athlete and strong Christian, made the list and wrote the entry for Tebow. "It is the qualities that Tim, 24, embodies in his life off the field that truly set him apart," Lin wrote. "He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out."
"He realizes what he has been blessed with and seeks to help those who are worse off. As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that," Lin added.
Actor and comedian Stephen Colbert also made the list; Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau wrote his piece. "On 'The Colbert Report,' every day is Opposite Day. Colbert's riffs are so ingeniously convoluted and deeply weird that the post-reason wingers have no response to him."
Colbert is the host of "The Colbert Report," which airs weeknights on Comedy Central and is a parody of serious news shows. Colbert plays the yin to Jon Stewart's yang as the two seek to examine news with a humorous angle.
Catherine Mayer, TIME's Europe editor, explained why Catherine (Kate) and Pippa Middleton made this year's list. "To appreciate the remarkable rise of the siblings whose very name, Middleton, seemed to presage an unremarkable life among their fellow commoners, you must first appreciate the forces that keep most Britons in their place."
As Catherine grew closer to Prince William, the press had a field day, dubbing her "Waitie Katie" and assuring Britons that there was no chance she or Pippa would ever break free of their class standing. Yet that's exactly what the girls have done; Catherine's marriage to Prince William was on par with the marriage of Diana and Charles.
Pippa has herself become a celebrity, and according to Mayer, "A photo editor at a British paper recently revealed he is offered as many as 400 paparazzi photos of Pippa every day. The Middletons have become avatars of inspiration," Mayer concludes.
Others on the TIME list include Cardinal Timothy Dolan, presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as well of course current U.S. President Barack Obama.