Dick and Rick Hoyt
Yes You Can!
Team Hoyt is father Dick Hoyt and son Rick Hoyt from Holland, Massachusetts who have competed together in numerous marathons and Ironman triathlons. Rick was born with cerebral palsy so during the race Dick pulls Rick in a special boat as they swim,
carries him in a special seat in the front of a bicycle, and pushes him
in a special wheelchair as they run.
Many doctors encouraged the Hoyts to institutionalize Rick, informing them that he would be nothing more than a "vegetable." His parents held on to the fact that Rick’s eyes would follow them
around the room, giving them hope that he would somehow be able to
communicate someday. The Hoyts took Rick every week to Children's Hospital in Boston, where they met a doctor who encouraged the Hoyts to treat Rick like any
Rick's mother Judy spent hours each day teaching Rick the
alphabet and posting signs on every object in the
house. In a short amount of time, Rick learned the alphabet. At the age of 11, Rick was
fitted with a computer that enabled him to communicate and it became
clear that Rick was intelligent. With this communication device, Rick was also able to attend public schools for the first time. Rick went on to graduate from Boston University with a degree in special education.
Team Hoyt began in 1977 when Rick asked his father if they could run in a
race together to benefit a lacrosse player at his school who had become
paralyzed. Dick Hoyt was not a runner and was 36 years old. After their first race
Rick said, "Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped." As of March 2016, the Hoyts had competed in 1,130 endurance events, including 72 marathons (this includes 32 Boston Marathons) and seven Ironman triathlons. 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. Team Hoyt was inducted to the Ironman Hall of Fame in 2008.