News

Standing paraplegic patient kicks ball to open World Cup

Standing paraplegic patient kicks ball to open World Cup

WORLD CUP KICKER:Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis works in his robotic laboratory in Sao Paulo May 21. Photo: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A standing paraplegic man kicked the first soccer ball of the World Cup in Sao Paulo on Thursday, a triumphant moment for a research project aiming to give patients who have lost feeling in their legs the ability to walk again.

Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, normally based at North Carolina’s Duke University, has developed a robotic exoskeleton to assist patients’ movement.

In late April, three patients took steps while wearing the exoskeleton, according to Nicolelis, who posted a celebratory tweet on Thursday saying “we did it!”. His team plans to publish research on the project soon.

Sao Paulo’s Corinthians arena has been criticized for delays and cost overruns, but wheelchair-bound fans, including Congresswoman Mara Gabrilli, were pleasantly surprised at the access and army of support staff they had at a rehearsal game on June 1.

About 60,000 cheering fans attended the match between Brazil and Croatia that kicked off the month-long soccer tournament.

(Reporting by Eduardo Simões; Writing by Caroline Stauffer, editing by Ed Osmond)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Sandra Bullock’s alleged stalker gets July trial date

sandrabullock

Joshua Corbett, 39, pleaded not guilty to charges including stalking and possession of a machine gun.

in Music

The science of popular music

beatles

A new study shows there have been three major movements in American music since 1964.

in Entertainment

Super son Ashton Kutcher remodels his mom’s house

ashton-kutcher2

The "That '70s Show" star is giving his mom a Mother's Day she'll never forget.

in Music

Justin Bieber, pro wrestler?

justinbieber

The troubled pop star was reportedly in talks to make his debut in a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) match last summer.

in Sports, Viral Videos

WATCH: ‘Super’ soccer mascot is super drunk

14-overlay

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Austria Vienna's mascot - a cape-wearing lion named "Super Leo" - has fallen and he can't get up.