On the show, Walters described how Bruce Jenner went from being an Olympic gold medalist to reality star after his large blended family became the subject of one of the most popular reality shows of all time, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. After 24 years of marriage, Bruce's divorce from Kris Jenner was finalized in 2014 and following months of public speculation Bruce publicly debuted the female identity, Caitlyn, on Vanity Fair's July 2015 cover.
"Our choice for the most fascinating person of the year was once called the world's greatest athlete," Walters said. "Traditionally that title was given to the man who won the Olympic decathlon. When Bruce Jenner won it in 1976, it was a huge accomplishment that had everybody talking. But it was nothing like this. When Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner, there was a seismic shift in the gender universe."
Jenner went from reality star to "a champion for people who had long been pushed to the margins of society," Walters said. "Famous and familiar, she raised awareness and acceptance of transgendered people. Through her own transformation, Caitlyn Jenner transformed society this year."