Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lessons in Courage for Father's Day

If you ever believe sometimes that life's a bit too tough and you start to feel sorry for yourself, just take a look at one of the many You Tube videos on Dick and Rick Hoyt.  Dick is a dad who has been bringing his son Rick who has Cerebral Palsy with him when competing as Team Hoyt in marathons, triathletes, and even Iron Man contests.  It was Rick's expression of pleasure after they finished a 5-mile charity run that started their careers in endurance sport. After the race, Rick told his dad that when they were in the race, it felt like his disability had disappeared. Dick has done everything possible to provide the experience over and over again.

Dick has pushed his son Rick (in running events), pulled Rick (in water events in a raft), and ridden with him (in biking events) over hundreds of finish lines. The Hoyt's have achieved some pretty remarkable performances, but perhaps more important than their sports accomplishments is how powerfully their story has affected others.  

The 2014 Boston Marathon was Team Hoyt's 32nd and last.  Dick is 74 years old and wants to slow down some, but Rick will continue.  Dick does plan on competing in many shorter races in future.

Last year, a bronze statue depicting the Hoyt's in competition was installed a few yards from the Boston Marathon starting line. ESPN’s Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards (ESPYS) recognized Dick and Rick Hoyt by presenting them with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. 

Some of their awards from the Team Hoyt website:

• Ironman Triathlon Hall of Fame
• B.A.A. Patriot’s Award 

 • FREDDIE Award 
• Spirit of Independence Award
• Living Legends Sports Award
• Lifetime Achievement Award
• Kodak Champions / Parade Magazine
• George Washington Honor Medal 

• Certificate of Achievement / President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
• The Crews Choice Award / Ironman Canada
• Champion Sports Award / Lombardi Foundation, Washington, D.C.
• Father and Son of the Year Award / Holland, MA
• EL Club Triathlon Special Award / Santa Anna, El Salvador
• Reach for the Star Image Award / Morgan Memorial Goodwill Indusdries
• World Triathlon Strength and Courage Award / Montreal Mondial
• Parenting Award / Army National Guard of MA.
• Exemplary Father Award / Office of the Mayor, Dayton OH
• Sheriffs Special Award / Middlesex County, MA
• Certificate of Excellence: Bud Light Ironman / Kona, HI
• Special Achievement Award / Falmouth Annual Road Race
• Jaycess Fitness Leader Award / Long Beach, CA
• Humanitarian Service Award / Commonwealth of Massachusetts
• Certificate of Completion: Trek Across America / Governor Weld, Boston, MA
• Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree / Western New England College
• Sports Personality Award / Boston Press Photographers Association
• Superlative Performance for Courage Arete
• Boston Proclamation: Dick & Rick Hoyt Day / Mayor Flynn, Boston, MA
• True Ironman Award / Waltham Police Dept., Waltham, MA
• Great Seal of the Commonwealth / Governor Dukakis, Massachusetts
• Recognition Proclamation / Lambertville, NJ Office of the Mayor, Lambertville, NJ


Here are the two most popular You Tube films on the men.

Most Popular Film on Team Hoyt.

Today's Heroes Show.

As we head towards Father's Day, the Hoyt's provide a great example of what fathers and sons can achieve when they put everything they have into it.  

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