J-Lo, 'iron man' suit star in WC opening ceremony
Pop star Jennifer Lopez will be performing at the World Cup alongside Pitbull.
After the delays that have hampered Brazil's preparations, organisers had one overriding message for fans ahead of the 3:15 pm (8.15pm in Nigeria) opening ceremony: Don't arrive late.
"Please, get there early," pleaded Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte. She will perform the official World Cup song, "We Are One," along with Lopez, rapper Pitbull and Brazilian drumming collective Olodum in the ceremony's grand finale.
There were last-minute doubts over whether Lopez, who media reports say recently broke up with backup dancer and boyfriend Casper Smart, would attend.
Fifa said on Sunday the singer had pulled out of the ceremony over "production issues."
But with two days to go, the world football body said she would perform after all.
"We Are One" has been viewed more than 75 million times on YouTube, though some critics have panned it as a disappointing follow-up to World Cup classics like Ricky Martin's "Cup of Life" in 1998 and Shakira's "Waka Waka" in 2010.
More than 60 000 fans will be in Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena, including 12 heads of state and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and around one billion people are expected to watch the opening ceremony and match on TV.
Meanwhile, the first kick of the 2014 World Cup will be special.
Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis has been working for years in his robotic laboratory in Sao Paulo, and he has sought to perfect his “Walk Again Project”.
The purpose of the project is to get paraplegics back on their feet again.
On the cutting edge of science, Miguel Nicolelis has developed a mechanical exoskeleton which is able to support a paralysed person’s lower body and responds to wireless commands that come from electrodes placed on the person’s scalp or within the brain.
The end result is the ability of men to interact with machine in order to walk again.
The breakthrough technology will be demonstrated in front of the world at the World Cup opening ceremony, wehre a paraplegic, whose identity has been kept secret, will leave behind their wheelchair to take to the pitch in the suit and give the tournament’s first kick.
It should be incredible.
See a report on the ”Walk Again Project” below.