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"When we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore."

FAMILY HERO:
DICK HOYT
by Jay from Spokane

Dick and Rick Hoyt
Today in our fast-paced world it seems that everyone is looking to see what is best for himself and forgets about the important things in life. Family dinners have now become television night. Many kids now grow up without ever really getting to know their parents. Such is not the case for Dick and Rick Hoyt from Massachusetts. These two have a father-son bond that has never been seen before.

Rick Hoyt was born with his umbilical cord around his neck, which cut off necessary oxygen to his brain. Doctors said Rick was going to be in a vegetable state the rest of his life and that his parents, Dick and Judy, should put him in an institution. Despite this obviously upsetting news, Dick and Judy chose to raise Rick as a normal child, taking him swimming and allowing him to play hockey with the neighbors. Their strong will and perseverance paid off when Rick was ten and his family raised five thousand dollars to purchase a computer that he could navigate with his head to spell words and write sentences.

In high school Rick heard about another boy in his town who became paralyzed. There was a five-mile benefit run and Rick asked his dad to run it with him. So Dick, a self-proclaimed "porker," ran the race, pushing Rick every step of the way. When they got home Rick told his dad, "When we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore." That was all it took to motivate Dick to give his son that feeling as often as possible.

Dick began to train tirelessly. He entered marathons and took Rick cross-country skiing. They competed in their first Boston Marathon in 1979. After several marathons someone suggested a triathlon. Dick, who couldn't swim and hadn't been on a bike since he was six, attacked the idea with a fury that could only be fueled by love, love for his son who couldn't be happier competing. They have now completed over 210 triathlons. During the triathlons, Dick swims the 2.4 miles while towing Rick in a dingy. He pushes Rick in a cart for all 26.2 miles of the run, and pedals Rick in a modified bike with a chair on the front for the whole 112 miles of biking. Only a few are able to compete in an Ironman in their lifetime; Dick has completed triathlons while taking his 110-pound son along for the ride. Dick and Rick finished the Boston Marathon 30 minutes shy of the world record, a record set by a person running alone.

Dick Hoyt is my hero because he does all these things selflessly. He competes for the love of his son and a chance to give him an opportunity to feel free from his disability. Obviously Dick is strong and determined; he couldn't compete if he wasn't, but he is also the most loving and caring man I have ever heard of. His efforts to break down the barriers of disability are an inspiration to us all.


Written by Jay from Spokane
Last changed on: 2/19/2013 1:09:55 AM

Team Hoyt "The goal of Team Hoyt is to integrate the physically challenged into everyday life."

USA Today "Team Hoyt: Dad, son in wheelchair continue to inspire"

Inspiring Quotes and Stories "World's Strongest Dad - Team Dick and Rick Hoyt"

 

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