Rick Hoyt, who was a mainstay at the Boston Marathon and other events for decades with his father pushing his wheelchair, has died. He was 61.
Hoyt died on Monday as a result of respiratory system issues, according to his family.
Rick and their father, Dick, were heroes in the road race and triathlon worlds for over 40 years and encouraged millions of individuals with disabilities to believe in themselves, set goals, and achieve extraordinary things, stated the Hoyt family in a statement.
Rick Hoyt was born with cerebral palsy and became a quadriplegic, yet he and his father became as much a part of the Boston Marathon as sore feet or Heartbreak Hill. Dick Hoyt pushed them through the course 32 times.
Every April, the Boston Athletic Association bestows the Rick & Dick Hoyt Award on someone who exemplifies their spirit through activism and inclusivity.
Rick Hoyt will forever be hailed as a Boston Marathon icon and for representing the ‘Yes You Can’ mentality that defined Team Hoyt, stated the Boston Athletic Association in a statement. They consider themselves blessed to have Rick as a buddy, mentor, pioneer, and Boston Marathon finisher.
The father-son team has competed in over 1,000 additional competitions, including duathlons and triathlons; in 1992, they ran and biked across the United States in 45 days, covering 3,735 miles (6,010 km). A monument of a father and son was constructed at the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton in 2013.
Dick Hoyt passed away in 2021.
It’s difficult to accept that they’ve both passed away, but their legacy will live on. Dick and Rick Hoyt have motivated millions of people all over the world, said Dave McGillivray, race director of the Boston Marathon and other events in which the Hoyts took part. They are forever thankful to Rick for his bravery, willpower, tenacity, and willingness to give of himself so that others, too, have faith in themselves, set goals, and make an impact in this world as he has.