Only a few hours away from the live demonstration during the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup in Sao Paulo, I want to thank this winning team of scientists, researchers, supporters and especially the volunteers today dependent on a wheelchair, in daring to innovate, seek to make hope a reality.
Everything working as planned, one young handicapped person will walk a few steps and kick the ball off before the opening match of Brazil vs Croatia.
More than a victory, it will be worth watching the results from a long, strong and courageous journey involving many disciplines of science and technology, lots of experiments and frustrations, many obstacles overcome. This Valentine’s Day in São Paulo will display to billions around the the results of applied knowledge to the benefit of human well-being.
There will be skeptics, critics, haters and even misinformed people who will criticise, whatever the outcome . They will mock or ignore dozens of universities worldwide, the various research centers seeking to innovate, to plant the seed of hope and the prospect of making it possible for a paraplegic to Walk Again.
It is possible that doubts may persist, and they will come up for debate in scientific forums. It is also reasonable to assume that there is a long way to go until autonomous walking is made available to millions of handicapped.
Well, that happens whenever the status-quo is challenged… What really counts, on Thursday, June 12, 2014, is that a vast portion of human kind will watch this magnificent initiative of human ingenuity.
Hopefully everything works out fine. And let the example bear fruits, not only in Brazil, but in every country in the world.
And let the game begin!