AmericaDick Hoyt – the runner who pushed his son with cerebral palsy and ran a full marathon 72 times, including 32 times at the Boston Marathon – died due to a heart failure.

Athletes and fans applauded Dick and Rick during the 2014 Boston Marathon run last time.

Athletes and fans applauded Dick and Rick during the 2014 Boston Marathon run last time. AP

Dick died in his sleep on March 17 at his home in Holland, Massachusetts, USA, at the age of 80. The Boston Athletics Association (BAA) – the governing body of the Boston Marathon, immediately issued a condolence notice. with family and tribute to the athlete is considered the symbol of the oldest running tournament in the world.

Dick was born on June 1, 1940 in Winchester, Massachusetts and raised in North Reading, nearby. His father is a used car dealer, and his mother is a housewife. Dick plays baseball and basketball, is captain of the soccer team. A few years after he graduated, he got married. In 1962, he and his wife welcomed their son Rick Hoyt – who was born with cerebral palsy.

Dick has played an important role in changing the discrimination against people with disabilities. The accompanying action of him and his son Rick went far beyond the Massachusetts community.

Dick famously pushed his son Rick’s wheelchair to dozens of events, big and small, at the biggest race on the planet. Dad and Rick Hoyt’s passion for running began in 1977, when Rick was in high school. Rick asked his father to race with him during a 10km school run event, to support his classmate who was paralyzed in an accident, and also to show that he could still participate in activities. sports despite disability.

Mr. Dick, then at the age of 36, had just left the army as Air Force Major and was not a runner, agreed to help his son. Due to cerebral palsy, Rick is unable to move his limbs. He also cannot speak, but can communicate with the assistance of a machine. Even though he was penultimate on his first run together in 1977, Rick told Dick: “Dad, when you two run together, you don’t feel like I’m disabled.”

Dick is always looking for a way for Rick to participate in activities like a normal person, and he chose sports to do it.  Photo: BAA

Dick is always looking for a way for Rick to participate in activities like a normal person, and he chose sports to do it. Image: BAA

Russ Hoyt, Rick’s brother, said: “That’s it. The story began from there.”

Over the next 40 years, starting from that first run, Dick and Rick participated in more than 1,130 events in endurance sports around the world, including 72 marathons and 257 triathlons. Particularly at the Boston Marathon, this particular pair of athletes ran a full marathon (42,195km) in 32 tournaments, from 1980 to 2014.

In 2014, Dick, aged 73, with Rick for the last run at the Boston Marathon. He actually intended to stop running from Boston in 2013. But his father and son, along with many other runners, had to stop and quit the competition when they were only a little over a kilometer from the finish line because of the bombing attack near the finish line. Dick, therefore, had to take the time off from the Boston Marathon by another year.

Of all the running or triathlons Dick has ever participated in, there is only one marathon he has played without his son Rick. “I don’t like doing it without Rick,” he said Los Angeles Times in 1986.

Rick Hoyt was born on January 10, 1962, with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck that deprived his brain of oxygen. Just a few months later, the effects on the boy’s brain became evident. When visiting the specialist, the doctor said Rick had become a “botanist” and advised the family to “forget about Rick”. But Dick and his wife – childhood friend Judy Leighton – believe their newborn baby has different wits. The couple sought a way for Rick to receive a special education, growing up with two brothers.

Dick pulled his son on a bicycle at the Iron Man pedaling competition in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on October 18, 2003.

Dick pulled his son on a bicycle at the Iron Man pedaling competition in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on October 18, 2003.

Dick let me try everything. When he went fishing, he tied the line around Rick’s finger so that he knew the thrill of the fish bite. He carried Rick on his back on a hiking trek, pulling his child in a sleigh as the family went skiing. In 1977, Tufts University engineers in Massachusetts designed a computer that allowed Rick to type words with his mind.

Dick was worried when Rick asked him to help complete the first run. But through the intensive training regime, Dick found that he was capable and strong enough to practice running with his children. Their father and son set a personal achievement record (PB) running a full marathon in 1992, with 2 hours 40 minutes 47 seconds at the Marine Corps Marathon. “I do my best. I teach Rick. I want to outdo people. I want to beat them,” he said.

Dick and Rick are nowadays considered symbols of the Boston Marathon, cast in bronze honors with the words “You Can” placed near the starting line. But his father and son used to annoy a lot of people when they went to the long run in Boston in 1980. “They don’t want us there. The runners think we don’t belong there and don’t accept us with that. a wheelchair, “Dick said Boston Globe 1990. The organizers were unable to classify the distribution of Hoyt’s child as runners or wheelchair race athletes.

Dick and Rick are the pioneers of the double competition category at the Boston Marathon. “Dick personified what it means to be a Boston Marathon runner. He expressed determination, passion, love for more than three decades. The relationship and presence of the father and son throughout the time. It really means a lot for the Boston Marathon, “BAA wrote in a recent announcement.

The Boston Marathon honors Dick and Rick with a bronze statue placed near the starting line of this run since 2013. Photo: New York Times

The Boston Marathon honors Dick and Rick with a bronze statue placed near the starting line of this run since 2013. Photo: New York Times

When an acquaintance invited Dick to a triathlon – an endurance race with a combination of swimming, cycling and running, his answer was “would only play if Rick was included”. They continued to play together in two Ironman tournaments in Hawaii. During the swim, Dick pulled his son in a homemade tricycle. In the cycling section, they get together on a double bike. During the run, Dick pushed Rick across the finish line on the specially designed race seat.

Dick did not stop participating in the race, even after having a heart attack, had to have heart and knee surgery. In 2020, father and son Hoyt will become the first team to be included in the Temple of Fame of the American triathlon.

“When we walked out, I felt there was nothing I couldn’t do with Rick,” Dick said Boston Globe in 1990. Rick said: “I only wish I had once invited my father into a wheelchair so I could push him.”

Thuy Lien synthetic


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