Rick Hoyt, who for decades was a regular at the Boston Marathon and other races while being pushed by his father, has passed away. He was 61.
His family revealed the respiratory system problems that led to Hoyt’s death on Monday.
The Hoyt family released a statement saying that their father, Dick, and brother, Rick, “were icons in the road race and triathlon worlds for over 40 years and inspired millions of people with disabilities to believe in themselves, set goals, and accomplish extraordinary things.”
Despite being a quadriplegic due to cerebral palsy, Rick Hoyt and his father were as much a part of the Boston Marathon as tired feet or Heartbreak Hill, and Dick Hoyt pushed the pair as they made 32 rounds of the course.
The Rick & Dick Hoyt Award is given by the Boston Athletic Association each April to a person who exemplifies their spirit through activism and inclusion.
“Rick Hoyt will always be remembered as a Boston Marathon icon and for personifying the ‘Yes You Can’ mentality that defined Team Hoyt,” according to a statement from the BAA.
“Rick is a friend, mentor, pioneer, and Boston Marathon finisher, and we are fortunate to call him that.”
In addition to duathlons and triathlons, the father and son team participated in more than 1,000 competitions.
In 1992, they finished a run and bike across the United States, covering 3,735 miles (6,010 kilometers) in 45 days.
In Hopkinton, Massachusetts, a statue depicting a father and son was built close to the Boston Marathon’s starting line in 2013. In 2021, Dick Hoyt passed away.
“It’s hard to imagine that they both went away, but their legacy will live forever. According to Dave McGillivray, the race director of the Boston Marathon and other events that Dick and Rick Hoyt participated in, the Hoyts “have inspired millions worldwide.”
“Rick, we will always be grateful for your courage, tenacity, resolve, and willingness to give of yourself so that others, too, could believe in themselves, set goals, and change the world as you have,” reads.