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Don Yaegar has an incredible video that highlights the 16 Characteristics of Greatness. As the 2013 Boston Marathon nears, it is only appropriate to share this incredible story that every father should know – the story of Team Hoyt, the running team of Dick and Rick Hoyt.
Below are some notes on the video segment included in the DVD “What Makes the Great Ones Great.” (This segment is included in the 2nd DVD.)
I hope you enjoy. We have included some links to useful resources.
The following are some notes from Don Yaeger’s speech:
Do not delete this email until you see this video! (email subject line from Rick Reilly)
Rick Reilly wrote an article for Sports Illustrated called “the Stongest Dad in the World.” The opening line is “This is the greatest father –son love of all time.”
The umbilical cord was around the neck. Rick Hoyt was deprived of oxygen for more than 5 minutes. Doctor’s advice “Leave him with us and we will treat him. We have better facilities to treat him.”
The son was spastic paraplegic. He played street hockey with his brothers playing “all-time goalie.”
He took his son to Tufts University in Boston. He is thinking. We have to do something to get his words out. It was nice of you to try. Before I leave, I am going to step out into the hall and I want you to tell him a joke. The doctor said “Oh my God. He laughed. He got the joke.”
The only thing Rick could control was a right tick. They built a 100-pound machine was to allow him to type words. His father and mother went out and changed the laws to allow his son to attend public school. He graduated from high school and college.
What were his first words going to be?  “Go Bruins!” The Bruins were playing for the Stanley Cup.
While he was in high school, Rick Hoyt was at a high school basketball game and he heard about a young man who was hurt in an accident. The community was going to rally and run a 5-mile race to raise money for an injured child from a neighboring town. He typed out “We need to run in this race because we need him to know that being paralyzed is not the end or your life.”
Dick Hoyt hadn’t run in years. He only had one pair of basketball shoes. He put his son in a makeshift wheelchair and ran 5 miles. They finished second to last. Dick Hoyt is really proud of that. After the race he was home laying in the floor when my son typed out. “Dad, as we were running, it felt like my paralysis was gone.”
Dick Hoyt knew what he had to do. He went out and bought a new pair of running shoes and built his son a wheelchair he could push in a race. Over the course of the last 35+ years, this father and son team have run in over 1,400 races. Rick Hoyt has not control of his body except a right tick in his neck, yet every time they finish a race, he lifts both his arms. Dick Hoyt got the greatest love you could ever get by giving to his son.
A couple years later, they snuck into the Boston Marathon. They did not allow them to be official participants because there was no category for a father pushing his son. He waited until everyone waited until everyone started. (There now is a bronze statue of the running team.)
Lance Armstrong ran the NYC marathon and Dick Hoyt beat lance Armstrong by 32 minutes. His best time puts him within 30 minutes of the world record. Many people said “Image what you could achieve if you ran that race by yourself.”
Dick Hoyt replied “Not gonna happen. I am his arms and legs and he is my heart.”
“Dad this running in races is getting kind of boring. We should try a triathlon.” Rick Hoyt to his dad. Dick Hoyt could not swim. Dick Hoyt got a house on a lake and taught himself how to swim.
Bike, swim, and run. They have concluded several dozen triathlons including the Iron Man Triathalon. Swim in the open ocean for 2.4 miles, ride a bike 112 miles, and then run a full marathon 26.2 miles. They completed the Iron man 8 times and were recenlty inducted into the Iron Man Hall of Fame. I spent several days and marveled at how much he loved his son. Everyday Dick must do all the little things to make his son complete – so many little things to get through the – go to the restroom, take a bath, or eat, or talk.
Someone put a video together and put it on youtube. Dick Hoyt became a national sensation. There are billboards all over New York City with the image of Dick Hoyt pushing his son Rick..
For the first 30 years no one knew who they work. No every one know why they are. We did a book together that was released on Father’s Day called Devoted. I searched for the one question that might inspire Rick to give an amazing answer so I asked Rick “God gives you the use of legs for day what would you do.
“The response. “I’ll sit my Papa down in a chair and push him.”
Dick Hoyt is man who has never won a race, he has never finished first in any race he has run. But he is a one of the greatest champions I have ever been around. “I didn’t do it to get famous.” He did it because it was the right thing to do. He lives his life comfortably and with integrity. There are now hundreds of fathers and paralyzed sons who run races together for TEAM HOYT.
Dick Hoyt is an absolute and without a question one of the greatest doubt champion.