Year in Review: The Top Videos of 2017, part one

Videos can connect you to a news story like nothing else, making it seem more immediate, more personal. And while we strove to provide the most compelling videos, certain ones really connected with our readers.

Some of them were touching, like the Nashville nurse who sung a dying patient’s favourite song. Some were tragic, like the gaunt polar bear searching for food on Baffin Island. And some were as exciting as any Hollywood blockbuster, such as the motorcyclist who led Calgary police on a death-defying chase.

In each case, you watched. You responded. You shared with your friends.

These are the top 10 most compelling Global News videos of 2017 – in this part, we’ll go through numbers 10 to 6.

6) Heart-wrenching video of emaciated polar bear on Baffin Island

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The plight of a starving polar bear touched millions of people around the world this year.

A team of filmmakers caught sight of the bear on Baffin Island, Nunavut, this past July, when there is naturally little ice.

The bear — gaunt, emaciated, and with his hair falling out — can be seen rummaging through garbage and chewing on an old snowmobile seat.

“This video was one of the hardest things I have ever filmed – we were sobbing, the whole SeaLegacy team. It was impactful and disturbing,” Paul Nicklen of SeaLegacy, one of the filmmakers, said about their heartbreaking discovery.

Experts tell Global News the bear appeared to be dying of starvation.

7) Nurse sings dying patient’s favourite song

A Nashville nurse’s touching gesture towards a cancer patient reminded us once again of the power of simple, powerful acts of kindness.

Video taken at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville this past October shows nurse Olivia Neufelder comforting cancer patient Margaret Smith by singing her favourite song.

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The 63-year-old had been battling liver cancer for a year, and just learned that she was too weak to survive a transplant.

At one point, the nurse is seen wiping her own tears as both of them become visibly emotional, and tells Smith to smile and sing along to the chorus.

8) Calgary veteran who survived Dunkirk gets emotional at premiere of new movie

Theatregoers watching the premiere of the film Dunkirk at Calgary’s Westhills Cinemas this last July got an unexpected and emotional surprise: an encounter with a 97-year-old man who survived the Second World War battle.

Calgarian Ken Sturdy, dressed in a jacket adorned with medals, became emotional as he saw just how accurately the filmmakers had captured the experience of actually being there.

“I never thought I would see that again. It was just like I was there again,” Sturdy said. “I was 20 when that happened, but watching the movie, I could see my old friends again and a lot of them died later in the war.”

Other theatre patrons, equally moved by both the film and Sturdy’s real-life experience, came up to thank him for his service personally.

“At the end of the movie, I ran down the stairs and he was just wiping his tears away and I was able to shake his hand and give him a proper salute,” Kelly Kwamsoos said while fighting back tears.

9) Motorcycle leads Calgary police on death-defying, 130 km/h chase through residential streets

Terrifying video of a motorcycle chase through the streets of Calgary in 2015 surfaced in November of this year, immediately becoming one of our most-watched clips.

According to court documents obtained by Global News, the incident started just after 7 p.m. on July 29, 2015, as Chase Allen Cromwell travelled on 52 Street S.E. on a stolen motorcycle.

The court documents state that, in an attempt to arrest Cromwell, two officers exited their vehicle and “challenged him at gunpoint,” but Cromwell evaded police and began accelerating northbound in the southbound lane for over a kilometre.

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Cromwell then turned around and travelled southbound directly toward the officers who were pursuing him. He then detoured into a residential neighbourhood, driving between 80 km/h to 120 km/h as he tried to lose officers.

He was eventually apprehended by police. Luckily for police and the community, nobody was hurt during the dangerous pursuit.

10) Justin Trudeau delivers emotional tribute to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie

Many Canadians were left saddened and emotional by the passing of The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie in October – including the prime minister himself, Justin Trudeau.

Visibly shaken, Trudeau praised Downie and the music he created with his band, noting the impact he had on Canadians from coast to coast.

“Gord was my friend,” said a tearful Trudeau. “But he was everyone’s friend … our buddy Gord, who loved this country with everything he had. And not just with a nebulous ‘Oh, I love Canada’ way, he loved every hidden corner, every story, every aspect of this country that he celebrated his whole life.”

Honourable mention: Donald Trump takes up 11-year-old’s offer to mow White House lawn

U.S. President Donald Trump got what you might call a “grassroots” display of support at the White House this past September, welcoming an 11-year-old Virginia boy who offered to help cut the lawn.

Trump high-fived Frank Giaccio, who lives in the Washington suburb of Falls Church. The White House says Frank wrote Trump to say he admires the president’s business acumen and runs his own neighbourhood lawn-care business.

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