The 2014 World Cup Is Kicking Off With a Miracle


The 2014 World Cup is bound to have surprise finishes, unparalleled athleticism and an upset or two. But its opening kickoff might be its most memorable part — because a young Brazilian, paralyzed from the waist down, will make the tournament’s first kick — without using his wheelchair.

Thanks to the Walk Again Project, a nonprofit international collaboration, the young man will walk and kick using an exoskeleton suit and cap that reads his brain signals and creates movement.

“We were all amazed. Many of us in this lab have shed tears watching these patients walking again,” Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, the neurologist at Duke University leading the project, told NBC News. “It is so moving.”

“With enough political will and investment, we could make wheelchairs obsolete,” he also told The Washington Post.

Watch the video below to catch a glimpse of the Walk Again Project’s technology. The 2014 World Cup kicks off on Thurs., June 12 at 2:15 p.m. EST. 

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