(NEWSER) – There was no shortage of interesting people in 2015, but Caitlyn Jenner, a "symbol of hope for the transgender community," topped them all, Barbara Walters decided in her annual ABC special Thursday night.

Walters said that the 66-year-old "transformed society" and "raised awareness and acceptance of transgendered people" with her own transformation from Bruce to Caitlyn, reports People. When Bruce Jenner won the Olympic decathlon in 1976, "it was a huge accomplishment that had everybody talking," Walters said. "But it was nothing like this. When Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner, there was a seismic shift in the gender universe."

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