As a new Dad, I often look for role models of the type of father I want to be remembered as. Dick Hoyt exemplifies every character trait in a father I’d want to be. He was humble, he was curious, ambitious, and above all else he always put his kids first. Dick’s son Rick, was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy at birth after his umbilical cord became wrapped around his neck. Doctors told him to put him in an institution, instead Dick found a way to get Rick a computer so Rick could speak. 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.
Several decades ago, Dick and Rick did a 5 mile benefit run for a Lacrosse runner who got paralyzed in an accident. After the event, Rick told his dad, “Dad, when I am running, it feels like I’m not disabled.” After that first race, they went on to do over 1,000 races together. Team Hoyt became the first duo to complete Ironman Hawaii in 1989 and 1990 along with six ironman triathlons, paving the way for push assisted athletes in the sport. Dick and Rick also completed 32 Boston Marathon’s and received the honor of a statue at the start of the Marathon course. The statues name is their official Team Hoyt tagline, “Yes you can.”
Dick passed away today at the age of 80. Dick gives one of the most powerful messages out there, if there’s something you want all you need to do is commit to it and follow Team Hoyt’s tagline, “Yes you can.”