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

Men bring the moves, but ladies take charge in ‘Magic Mike XXL’

Fresh
14-overlay11

The film, which hits theaters July 1, follows 2012's surprise hit with Channing Tatum rejoining the Kings of Tampa, his rogue band of male entertainers.

in Entertainment

EL James takes ‘Fifty Shades’ of heat during Twitter Q&A

eljames

#AskELJames backfired in terrific style because of course it did.

in Entertainment

20 years after ‘Showgirls,’ Elizabeth Berkley comes ‘full circle’

berkley

The former "Saved by the Bell" actress starred as an exotic dancer in the film, which was initially slammed by critics and flopped at the box office.

in Music, Sports

Football star tackles stage invader at Zac Brown gig

jjwatt

Houston Texans star J.J. Watt turned security guard.