Inspirational Story of Team Hoyt

 

What A Father Would Do For A Son

This is a story of a Father and Son journey, Team Hoyt, and the human commitment. 

The story of Dick and Rick Hoyt is an inspirational love story, based on the philosophy “I can!”  Although Rick was born with cerebral palsy, his parents were determined to treat him just like their other boys, despite medical professionals counseling otherwise.

Rick grew up engaging the world fearlessly; and when he was 12 years old even found his voice with the help of the ‘Hope Machine’, a computer system that enabled him to talk. In high school, father and son ran their first charity road race to help a paralyzed teen. After that race Rick told his dad, “When I’m running it feels like my disability disappears.” Now, at 70 and 48 years old, Dick has pushed, pulled, and carried his son on 950 races, including 60 marathons and six Ironman Triathlons. Asked about his heroic actions, Dick says simply, “I’m just myself and I love my family.”

 

Interview with Dick Hoyt (start at 0:55)

 

In the spring of 1977, Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a Lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Far from being a long-distance runner, Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair and they finished all 5 miles, coming in next to last. That night, Rick told his father, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.”

This realization was just the beginning of what would become over 1,000 races completed, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons (6 of them being Ironman competitions).

 

Video clip of Rick when he was a kid

 

About Team Hoyt

Rick was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt. As a result of oxygen deprivation to Rick’s brain at the time of his birth, Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Dick and Judy were advised to institutionalize Rick because there was no chance of him recovering, and little hope for Rick to live a “normal” life. Dick and Judy soon realized that though Rick couldn’t walk or speak; he was quite astute and his eyes would follow them around the room. Dick and Judy needed to find a way to help Rick communicate for himself.

With $5,000 in 1972 and a skilled group of engineers at Tufts University, an interactive computer was built for Rick. This computer consisted of a cursor being used to highlight every letter of the alphabet. Once the letter Rick wanted was highlighted, he was able to select it by just a simple tap with his head against a head piece attached to his wheelchair. When the computer was originally first brought home, Rick surprised everyone with his first words. Instead of saying, “Hi, Mom,” or “Hi, Dad,” Rick’s first “spoken” words were: “Go, Bruins!” The Boston Bruins were in the Stanley Cup finals that season. It was clear from that moment on, that Rick loved sports and followed the game just like anyone else.

In the spring of 1977, Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a Lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Far from being a long-distance runner, Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair and they finished all 5 miles, coming in next to last. That night, Rick told his father, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.”

 

 Team Hoyt in their very first race (1977)
 

This realization was just the beginning of what would become over 1,000 races completed, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons (6 of them being Ironman competitions). Also adding to their list of achievements, Dick and Rick biked and ran across the U.S. in 1992, completing a full 3,735 miles in 45 days. More…

In a triathlon, Dick will pull Rick in a boat with a bungee cord attached to a vest around his waist and to the front of the boat for the swimming stage. For the biking stage, Rick will ride a special two-seater bicycle, and then Dick will push Rick in his custom made running chair (for the running stage).

Rick was once asked, if he could give his father one thing, what would it be? Rick responded, “The thing I’d most like is for my dad to sit in the chair and I would push him for once.”

The 2009 Boston Marathon was officially Team Hoyt’s 1000th race. Rick always says if it comes down to doing one race a year he would like it to be the Boston Marathon: his favorite race. Dick Hoyt hopes that he is able to push Rick in the Boston Marathon when he is 71 years old (2012)!  Team Hoyt is now forming its 2012 Boston Marathon Team of Charity and Qualified Runners. Qualified Runners have met the official time qualifying standards and have been accepted into the race by the Boston Athletic Association. Neither Dick or Rick are ready to retire yet.

 

Backup video (if you get broken links on any video above), or watch again!

 

Would you have done the same if you are Hoyt?  leave me your comment below

 

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 Read more and support Team Hoyt here http://www.teamhoyt.com/ (not an affiliate link)

 

To listen to the song I Know My Redeemer Lives. – Nicole C. Mullen

 

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
and Who told the ocean you can only come this far?
and Who showed the moon where to hide ’til evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives:
Let all creations testify
Let this, life within me cry
I know my Redeemer lives, yeah.

The very same God that spins things in orbit
runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creations testify
Let this life within we cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives forever, I’ll proclaim

That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He’s alive and
There’s an empty grave.

And I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creations testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer,

I know my Redeemer
I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
I know that I know that I know that I know that I know my redeemer lives
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
I Know I know
He lives He lives yeah, yeah I spoke with him this morning
He lives He lives, the tomb is empty,
He lives I gotta tell everybody

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