Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images

TIME Magazine’s Managing Editor, Nancy Gibbs appeared on NBC’s Today on Monday to reveal the eight finalists in competition for the title of 2014 ‘Person of the Year.’

Topping the list were The Ferguson protesters began camping in the streets in August all in the name of garnering justice for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson, who claims the teen posed enough threat to warrant his demise. Wilson escaped indictment and the protesters returned in November – and have not left. Undoubtedly their perseverance and dedication to the cause despite numerous clashes with law enforcement is a testament to strength in numbers and proof that if you scream loud enough – you will be heard.

Another notable on the list goes to The Ebola caregivers, who are still trying to accommodate the consequences that erupted from the biggest outbreak in history. According to reports, almost 7,000 people have perished in West Africa due to the virus.

It’s a tough one but we have a feeling that it will boil down to these two contenders. Both are risking comfort to pursue a resolve that will impact future generations – and that deserves global recognition and appreciation.

TIME managing editor Nancy Gibbs revealed the shortlist on NBC’s Today show. Here are the eight still in the final running, in no particular order:

  • The Ferguson protesters, who took to the streets in August following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer, and again in November when a grand jury declined to indict the officer in the killing.
  • The Ebola caregivers, who are still fighting the biggest Ebola outbreak in history, that has so far taken the lives of nearly 7,000 people in West Africa.
  • Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who has remained in the headlines throughout this year, from his country’s stewardship of the Winter Olympics in Sochi to its annexation of Crimea, and its role in the ongoing civil strife in eastern Ukraine.
  • Taylor Swift, one of the world’s top-selling pop artists, who this year shook up the music industry by pulling her music from streaming service Spotify, which she believes should compensate artists more.
  • Jack Ma, an English teacher turned founder and CEO of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant which debuted a $25 billion IPO.
  • Tim Cook, who introduced Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple Watch, and Apple Pay this year, and whose decision to come out made him the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO.
  • Masoud Barzani, the acting president of the Iraqi Kurdish Region since 2005, who has deftly threaded the region’s push for independence with the ongoing fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.
  • Roger Goodell, the National Football League commissioner whose leadership has been under great scrutiny this year as the league dealt with public incidents of domestic abuse by players such as Ray Rice, among other controversies.
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