Team Hoyt is a father Dick Hoyt and son Rick Hoyt from Massachusetts who compete together in marathons, triathlons, and other athletic endeavors. Rick has cerebral palsy, caused by loss of oxygen to his brain at birth because his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.
Dick pulls his son Rick in a special boat as they swim, carries him in a special seat up front as they bike, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run.
Doctors told his parents that Rick would live in a vegatative state, but his parents, with the help of Tufts University engineers, recognized that his sense of humor indicated intelligence. At the age of 12, Rick was able to learn how to use a special computer to communicate using movements from his head. The first words he typed were, “Go Bruins!”, and the family learned he was a sports fan. They entered their first race in 1977, a 5 mile benefit run for an injured lacrosse player who was a schoolmate of Rick’s.
Dick is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard. Rick earned a college degree from Boston University in special education, and now works at Boston College. They continue to compete in races, and are also motivational speakers.
As of August 31, 2008, Team Hoyt had participated in a total of 984 events, including 229 Triathlons (6 of which were Ironman competitions), 20 Duathlons, and 66 Marathons, including 26 Boston Marathons. They have also biked and run across the USA, in 1992 — a 3,735 mile journey that took them 45 days.
When asked what one thing Rick wished he could give his father, his reply was “The thing I’d most like is that my dad would sit in the chair and I would push him once.”