19
Apr

One-legged soccer player inspires World Cup commercial

imageImage via Coca-Cola

Get ready to choke back the tears, because this is one heck of a story.

Nico Calabria was born with only one leg, but the rare disability has never inhibited him from achieving greatness on and off the field. Using forearm crutches now after learning how to play soccer, basketball or even how to ice skate with the help of a prosthetic leg, Nico still excelled competing against two-legged peers, even at the varsity high school level.

Now 19, Nico has become one of the best players on the United States National Amputee Soccer Team and an inspiration to anyone with a pulse. Six years ago, Nico became the first person to ever summit Mt. Kilimanjaro on crutches, raising more than $100,000 for charity in the process. (Now that kid’s got some upper body strength!)

Inspired by Nico’s amazing journey, sports drink makers Powerade have now featured him as part of their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, and the ad is perfect. Watch:

For more on Nico’s story, check out Coca-Cola’s profile on him.

H/T Huff Post

1
May

Portland Timbers make 8-year-old’s wish come true

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Eight-year-old Atticus Lane-Dupre loves soccer. Last fall, he started to feel pain while playing with his team, The Green Machine. He was diagnosed with cancer (Wilms’ tumor) and missed the last game of the season as a result of the treatment he was receiving.

Atticus’ wish was simple: To play in a scrimmage against the Portland Timbers with The Green Machine.

Without hesitation, the Timbers teamed up with Make-A-Wish Oregon to grant Atticus’ wish. On Wednesday morning, a select group of Timbers players played against Atticus and The Green Machine at JELD-WEN Field.

We’ll let the video take it from here:

More than 3,000 fans showed up to cheer on Atticus and The Green Machine as they beat the Timbers 10-9, with Atticus scoring four goals on Wednesday. What a stunning display of support from the Portland community. They gave him a day he’ll never forget.

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Images and video courtesy of Major League Soccer.

21
Feb

Big-spending Russian’s Zenit resist Liverpool’s charge

A Jamie Carragher error ultimately proved costly as Liverpool were edged out of the Europa League despite a fine 3-1 comeback against Zenit St. Petersburg.

The veteran defender, making his 150th - and now last - European appearance, gifted Zenit’s star forward Hulk a goal that gave the Russians a 3-0 aggregate lead early in the second leg of the last-32 tie.

Read more here.