You’d be forgiven for assuming that the likes of Neymar or Pele would be involved in taking the first kick at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Instead, it’s something quite different, yet incredibly special and unique. A teenager paralyzed from the waist down is set to kick off the huge spectacle in Sao Paulo by taking the ceremonial first kick!
You read correctly. With the help of the world’s most advanced mind-controlled exoskeleton, the yet-to-be-chosen lucky teenager will take the first kick on perhaps the world’s most prominent sports stage.
The ambitious idea is designed to showcase the Walk Again Project - a nonprofit international collaboration dedicated to researching ways to overcome paralysis through technology. The project itself explains the process, helped through the wearing of a “robotic body suit”, here:
"The candidate teenage kicker will be trained in Virtual Reality to control technology that will eventually allow them to kick the ball at the world cup [sic]. They will do this by wearing a non-invasive headpiece that detects brain waves."
For more on the Walk Again Project, check out this story from the Washington Post.
Pretty incredible stuff.
Image via Twitter/@IndyStarSport