Dick Hoyt was born and raised in Boston. He retired as a Lt. Colonel in the Air National Guard. One of his children (Rick) was born with cerebral palsy, and the doctors informed him early on that he'd basically be a vegetable for the remainder of his life. But Dick and his wife refused to accept that. Quite the contrary. He expected Rick to live a normal life despite his disability, and he was gonna make sure it happened. Rick was equipped with a special computerized motion sensor to help him communicate with others, despite the fact that he couldn't speak.
Dick also realized that sports was something that excited Rick at a young age, and that's what he latched onto.
Over the following 40 years, Dick and his son would compete in triathlons and marathons. Dick made sure that his son was part of the experience, even though his son was paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair... and they became known as "Team Hoyt."
"I saw early on just how excited it made Rick to be able to participate with me in our races, and I wanted him to experience that joy of competing," Dick said years later. That competitive drive and devotion would eventually lead to Rick not only competing in races with his father, but also completing high school and then earning a degree from Boston University.
All because a father chose to not give up on his son.
They were part of the competitive field in the 2013 Boston Marathon (which was overshadowed because of the Boston Marathon bombing that year). They'd decided ahead of time that this would be their last Boston Marathon together. But the tragedy caused them to give it another go the following year, because that wasn't how they wanted to remember their last race together. Later that summer of 2013, Team Hoyt was honored by being presented with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance during the ESPYS. Both Dick and his son were on stage to accept the award.
Then, in 2014, they competed in their last race together in the Boston Marathon.
The touching video montage below captures the essence of a father who loved his son so much that he devoted his entire life to him. What an awesome, inspiring example of love, commitment and devotion....