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 Music

Meghan Trainor, Harry Styles team up for a duet

Meghan Trainor arrives at the 42nd annual American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Harry Styles and Meghan Trainor channel their heartbreak into a new song called "Someday Maybe."

in Music

Katy Perry leads the way for Super Bowl’s ‘girl power’ moment

katyperry

The most-watched 12 minutes on U.S. television is expected to be all about the ladies.

in Entertainment

Benedict Cumberbatch apologizes for ‘colored’ remark

Benedict Cumberbatch attends a special screening of "The Imitation Game" at the DGA Theater on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Benedict Cumberbatch is "devastated" after realizing he caused offense during a chat about diversity on Tavis Smiley's late-night show.

in Music

Imagine Dragons launch sky-high concert contest

Dan Reynolds, of Imagine Dragons, performs at the 25th annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in Inglewood, Calif.

Imagine Dragons have teamed up with Southwest Airlines to give a group of fans a once-in-a-lifetime mile-high experience.

in Music

Ne-Yo’s new album inspired by fans

Ne-Yo

The singer says he used stories from fans as inspiration for his sixth studio release, "Non-Fiction."