Monday, June 22, 2009

Strongest dad in the world?

Wow! Yesterday Pastor Dave shared a video in church that really got me, and I wanted to pass it on. I've attached it at the bottom, but it'll help if I give you a little background information. The following is taken from

Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they’re not in a marathon they are in a triathlon — that daunting, almost superhuman, combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America.

It’s a remarkable record of exertion — all the more so when you consider that Rick can't walk or talk. For the past twenty five years or more Dick, who is 65, has pushed and pulled his son across the country and over hundreds of finish lines.

At Rick’s birth in 1962 the umbilical cord coiled around his neck and cut off oxygen to his brain. Dick and his wife, Judy, were told that there would be no hope for their child’s development.

In 1975, Rick was finally admitted into a public school. Two years later, he told his father he wanted to participate in a five-mile benefit run for a local lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident.

Dick, far from being a long-distance runner, agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair. They finished next to last, but they felt they had achieved a triumph. That night, Dick remembers, "Rick told us he just didn’t feel handicapped when we were competing."

Rick’s own accomplishments, quite apart from the duo’s continuing athletic success, have included his moving on from high school to Boston University, where he graduated in 1993 with a degree in special education. That was followed a few weeks later by another entry in the Boston Marathon.

As he fondly pictured it: "On the day of the marathon from Hopkinton to Boston people all over the course were wishing me luck, and they had signs up which read 'Congratulations on your graduation!’"

Rick now works at Boston College’s computer laboratory helping to develop a system codenamed "Eagle Eyes," through which mechanical aids (like for instance a powered wheelchair) could be controlled by a paralyzed person’s eye-movements, when linked-up to a computer.

Together the Hoyts don’t only compete athletically; they also go on motivational speaking tours, spreading the Hoyt brand of inspiration to all kinds of audiences, sporting and non-sporting, across the country.

By the way, Dick Hoyt is 65 years old. That's what I call Solid.


1 comment:

  1. Aren't they an amazing team? I saw an interview with the two of them several months ago on GMA. They remind us (in a physical way) of the strong bond between father and son and the special love they share for each other. And who knows, maybe with the work he's doing, Rick will be pushing Dick someday!