Back at home in Singapore, 2016 was also a year of many firsts. In August, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made a six-day official visit to the US - a first by a Singapore prime minister since 1985. During the visit, PM Lee and his wife were treated to a state dinner, an honour accorded by the Obama administration on only 11 other occasions in eight years.
Another proud moment was when Singaporean singer Nathan Hartono won the hearts of many in China's Sing! China TV singing contest. The 25-year-old not only won the praise of judge Jay Chou, he was also eventually handpicked by Chou to represent his team in the final round of the competition. Although he took second-place, Hartono came home to find his popularity had surged while he was away.
Our pick for proud moment of 2016 comes from the sporting realm. While Singaporeans have not been known to win sporting titles abroad, some of the nation's best athletes did us proud by coming home from the Olympics as victorious winners.
First, there was 21-year-old swimmer Joseph Schooling, who made history when he won Singapore's first-ever Olympic gold medal by completing the 100m butterfly event in record time. Weeks later, paralympians Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh, also won two gold medals and a bronze medal respectively at the Rio Paralympics. Thanks to their hard work, Singaporeans could proudly sing along to Majulah Singapura at the award ceremonies.
What a year it has been for Singapore!