Virtually everyone who enjoys long-distance racing knows the inspiring story of “Team Hoyt.” Dick and Rick Hoyt, a father and son who completed more than 1,000 races between marathons, ironmans and triathlons together. But the uniqueness of this duo is that Dick was running pushing the chair of his son with cerebral palsy. A “courageous father”, an example for all, a legend who has died at the age of 80, after several years fighting serious health problems. Images of Dick pushing his son’s chair in a number of sporting events will always be etched on everyone’s retinas, including 32 Boston marathons, where they were already a classic.
His first race was in 1977, after which Rick confessed to his father that during the five miles that the test lasted, he never felt disabled. That was the moment that Dick gave birth to “Team Hoyt.” Together they became years later the first duo to finish an ironman (3.9 km swimming, 180 km cycling and 42.2 km running). And for such a feat, Dick pushed his son Rick, in a swimming raft, in a tandem pedaling his bike and in a running wheelchair. Such was the father’s devotion to his son and the happiness he experienced with his father that the couple decided to cross the United States by bicycle, completing 6,000 km in a month and a half in 1992. Dick, an inspiration to all parents, saw to it that his son lived with dignity so that he would enjoy one of the pleasures in life that biology denied him: sports. Rest in peace Dick Hoyt, a great example for millions of athletes in the world.