trailblazer ‎(plural trailblazers)

  1. One that blazes a trail to guide others; a pathfinder.
  2. (figuratively) An innovative leader in a field; a pioneer.
    • 2014 October 21, Oliver Brown, “Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years – sport afforded no protection against his tragic fallibilities: Bladerunner's punishment for killing Reeva Steenkamp is but a frippery when set against the burden that her bereft parents, June and Barry, must carry [print version: No room for sentimentality in this tragedy, 13 September 2014, p. S22]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Sport)[1]:
      Yes, there were instances of grandstanding and obsessive behaviour, but many were concealed at the time to help protect an aggressively peddled narrative of [Oscar] Pistorius the paragon, the emblem, the trailblazer.