When doctors tell people they are paralyzed, all of their dreams suddenly include being in a wheelchair. The idea of simply kicking a soccer ball is thrown out the window.
But how about kicking a soccer ball in front of 68,000 people? With hundreds of millions watching around the world? To start the World Cup?
One Brazilian teenager will be lucky enough to not just walk and kick a ball again, but do so in front of the entire world thanks to the Walk Again Project. For years, scientists with the organization have been working to build an exoskeleton that can receive signals from the brain so paralyzed people can walk again. Now, they think they have done it and will show off their remarkable technology at the World Cup, where a paralyzed teenager will make the first kick of the tournament before Brazil take on Croatia in the opening match.
And so the first kick of the World Cup will be infinitely more important and amazing than any other.