Rick Hoyt, a legendary icon of the renowned marathon who competed in the Boston Marathon 36 times in a wheelchair, has passed away at 61.
Rick and his father, Dick, has been participated in more than 1,000 events worldwide since 1977.
Due to cerebral palsy, Rick was born without the ability to move his legs or arms. He used to communicate with computers.
Rick Hoyt Death: Cause Of Death
According to the family statement published on the Hoyt’s Foundation Facebook page, Rick died at 61 due to difficulties with his respiratory system.
The Hoyt family released a statement saying that they are in deep grief to announce the death of their dear brother and uncle Rick Hoyt.
Rick Hoyt and his father have been the icons in the world of triathlon and road racing for the past 40 years.
They encouraged millions of people with disabilities to believe in themselves, set goals, and achieve incredible things.
Rick Hoyt: All About The Boston Marathon Icon
Rick Hoyt’s umbilical cord wrapped around his neck during pregnancy, blocking the passage of oxygen and leading to the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Due to this condition, his brain was unable to effectively regulate his muscles.
Many medical professionals urged the Hoyts to admit Rick to an institution, telling them that he would be reduced to nothing more than a ‘vegetable.’
During such moments, Rick communicates with his parents through his eyes which gives his parents the confidence that he may one day be able to speak in some way.
The alphabet was taught to Rick by his mother, Judy, using sandpaper letters, and signs were placed all around the house. Rick quickly acquired his knowledge of letters.
Rick was given a computer that let him communicate at the age of 11. Rick was admitted to a public school for the first time when he began communicating with the computer.
He earned a special education degree from Boston University in 1993. Later, he contributed to the creation of systems to facilitate communication and other tasks for individuals with impairments while working in a computer lab at Boston College.
Team Hoyt: The Father-Son Duo
Despite being a quadriplegic due to cerebral palsy, Rick Hoyt never let that stop him from following his interests and breaking down barriers.
His father, Dick Hoyt, was extremely important in assisting him to participate in a variety of activities.
The father and son team’s participation in the Boston Marathon, which they completed more than 30 times, brought them great popularity.
They became regulars at the marathon’s finish line, where spectators anticipated their arrival with a lot of excitement.
Their remarkable quest started in 1977 when Rick said he wanted to take part in a 5-mile run to raise money for a disabled athlete.
The formation of Team Hoyt was initiated when Dick pushed Rick Hoyt for the entire race while he was in a wheelchair.
They created a milestone in their life by finishing their 1,000th race at the Boston Marathon in 2009.
They started The Hoyt Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote inclusivity for people with disabilities, in 1989 as a result of the influence of their story.
They promoted charity work to improve inclusion in sports, homes, schools, and workplaces while assisting families raising children with disabilities.
Dick and Rick finished the 2014 Boston Marathon, which was their last race together. From 2015 to 2019, Bryan Lyons, a dentist from Billerica, pushed Rick through the Marathons.
In March 2021, Dick Hoyt passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Holland, Massachusetts.
Rick Hoyt: The Eternal Legacy In Boston Marathon Community
People from all around the world sent their condolences to Rick Hoyt when the news of his death came out.
The Boston Athletic Association sent the Hoyt Family its condolences and recognized Rick as a legendary figure in the Boston Marathon.
They stressed that Rick would always be remembered for finishing the Boston Marathons and highlighted the Rick and Dick Hoyt Award, which recognizes people who embody the values of Team Hoyt by promoting inclusivity and activism.
Rick was praised on Twitter by the former Mayor of Boston, mentioning him as an “icon and inspiration.”
Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey referred to Rick Hoyt as a “true icon of the Boston Marathon” who had also inspired people outside of Massachusetts.
The Bruins, Red Sox, and other Boston sports community members also paid their tributes and recalled memories of the Hoyts.
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