And what has Rick done for his father? Not much–except save his life.
Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they’re not in a marathon they are in a triathlon — that daunting, almost superhuman, combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America.
Thanks to his parents, who ignored the advice of doctors that he would live life in a persistent vegetative state, and Tufts University engineers, who 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.