World Cup 2014: This Is What Friends Are For

22 Jun

I dare you to watch the video below and not smile and cry. Because then you would have watched this video and everyone needs to watch this video. I cried, big tears, and smiled, a big smile. There’s a good chance (100%) I teared up again just writing this post.

Brazilian sign language instructor Hélio Fonseca de Araújo, 33, created the video to document his efforts in ensuring his friend Carlos, who is deaf and blind, could follow the World Cup kick-off game between Brazil and Croatia. According to Araújo, Carlos had prayed to God and asked for someone to relay the game to him. He came up with the idea and Araújo figured out how to execute it.

Per the New York Daily News:

Carlos had normal vision until the age of 14, when he was diagnosed with Usher syndrome and has since been gradually losing his eye sight, he said.

Now Carlos can only see shapes and contours and stopped being able to watch the soccer matches two years ago, Helio said.

Then Helio and another interpreter decided to try some new techniques to enable Carlos to feel the excitement of the games again.

“We want him to feel the same sensations that (people who can see and hear) feel,” Helio said.

Helio learned many new techniques to help people who are blind and deaf at an international conference and he started using them on Carlos for the past year.

Before the game started on television, he went to Carlos’ home and guided his friend’s hands around the makeshift board to explain positioning and players’ movements.

In the video’s description, Helio wrote that he also went over how to communicate key details such as fouls, players’ numbers, and red and yellow cards.

The two also paused for the national anthem, during which Helio placed Carlos’ hand on his heart.

As the game ensued he moved Carlos’ hands on the board to show the position of the ball.

Carlos, wearing a soccer jersey, seemed to understand it well and even shook his hands in frustration when he found out Croatia scored a goal after Helio told him so in sign language.

And as Brazil mounted its comeback in the eventual 3-1 win, Carlos also experienced the agony of near misses as Helio explained how close they came to scoring at certain times.

At the 10-minute mark of the video, when Brazil scored its first goal, Carlos triumphantly raised his hands in the air and celebrated by drumming on the soccer board.

After the third goal, Helio even directed Carlos to point to the camera and celebrate with his audience.”

And did you see the palm-to-face reaction for Marcelo’s own goal? I did the same, Carlos!

Carlos is now watching all the games, with Araújo helping out with the Brazil ones. When asked why he did it, Araújo said:

“When I posted the video, I was aiming to show that for everything in life there is a solution, so that other interpreters (can) use this with their friends or deaf and blind clients,” he said.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking someone needs to get this in the hands of the Brazilian national team ASAP.

– hopechaser (twitter: hopechaser11)

4 Responses to “World Cup 2014: This Is What Friends Are For”

  1. Katie Ann June 23, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

    Oh, I saw this on Buzzfeed and absolutely loved it! What incredible friends!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. PSV Eindhoven Shows Supports For Their Visually Impaired Fans | Of Headbands and Heartbreak... - November 7, 2014

    […] initiative reminds me of Hélio Fonseca de Araújo who helped his friend Carlos, who is deaf and blind, follow the World Cup games this past summer. […]

  2. PSV Eindhoven Shows Support For Their Visually Impaired Fans | Of Headbands and Heartbreak... - November 7, 2014

    […] initiative reminds me of Hélio Fonseca de Araújo who helped his friend Carlos, who is deaf and blind, follow the World Cup games this past summer. […]

  3. 2015 WWC Group A: Oma’s Inspirational Message | Of Headbands and Heartbreak... - June 5, 2015

    […] you get teary-eyed? I got teary-eyed. It reminded of me of this story from last year’s World Cup. That story gets me every […]

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