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Team Hoyt: Father and son strive to help those who are physically disabled through marathons and triathlons

Team Hoyt: Father and son strive to help those who are physically disabled through marathons and triathlons

Team Hoyt is an inspirational story of a father, Dick Hoyt, and his son, Rick, who compete together in marathons and triathlons across the country.


Rick was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt. As a result of oxygen deprivation to Rick’s brain at the time of his birth, Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Dick and Judy were advised to institutionalize Rick because there was no chance of him recovering, and little hope for Rick to live a “normal” life. This was just the beginning of Dick and Judy’s quest for Rick’s inclusion in community, sports, education and one day, the workplace.

In the spring of 1977, Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a Lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Far from being a long-distance runner, Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair and they finished all 5 miles, coming in next to last. That night, Rick told his father, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.”

This realization was just the beginning of what would become over 1,000 races completed, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons (6 of them being Ironman competitions). 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.

Started in 1989, The Hoyt Foundation aspires to build the individual character, self-confidence and self-esteem of America’s disabled young people through inclusion in all facets of daily life; including in family and community activities, especially sports, at home, in schools, and in the workplace. Each year, Team Hoyt’s primary spokespeople, world renowned athletes, Dick and Rick Hoyt, show the world how to do this by speaking before community and professional groups, and by direct participation in many road races, triathlons and other endurance events. The Foundation also provides advice and support to groups and individuals who share this mission.

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