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Thread: One of the most inspirational stories I have ever seen...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    One of the most inspirational stories I have ever seen...

    Strongest Dad in the World
    [From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]
    I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay
    for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.
    But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.
    Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in
    marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a
    wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and
    pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same
    Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back
    mountain climbing. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame,
    And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.
    This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick
    was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him
    brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
    ``He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told
    him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an
    But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes
    followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the
    engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was
    anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was
    told. "There's nothing going on in his brain.''
    "Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out
    a lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed
    him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his
    head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!''
    And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the
    school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want
    to do that.''
    Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran
    more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still,
    he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. "I was sore for
    two weeks.''
    That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were
    running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''
    And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving
    Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly
    shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.
    "No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite
    a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a
    few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then
    they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran
    another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the
    following year.
    Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''
    How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since
    he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still,
    Dick tried.
    Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour
    Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud
    getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you
    Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says.
    Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick
    with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.
    This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston
    Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their
    best time'? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world
    record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens
    to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at
    the time.
    ``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''
    And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had
    a mild heart attack arteries was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in
    such great shape,'' one doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15
    years ago.''
    So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.
    Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in
    Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass.,
    always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and
    compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this
    Father's Day.
    That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really
    wants to give him is a gift he can never buy. `The thing I'd most like,''
    Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''
    I made it through the article with just a slight tear up. The waterworks were in full effect for the following video, however. It is truly amazing what this man does for his son.


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Hamilton, Ohio

    Re: One of the most inspirational stories I have ever seen...

    I really like Reilly's writing he can be funny and serious, depending on the story.
    I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

  4. #3
    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    east of WOY

    Re: One of the most inspirational stories I have ever seen...

    ESPN did a piece on them a while back. Well, either ESPN or FSN, I can't remember which at the moment. If it doesn't bring a tear, you're not human.

  5. #4
    Member Reds Fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Piqua, OH

    Re: One of the most inspirational stories I have ever seen...

    Real Sports on HBO did a great story on the Hoyts last year.

  6. #5
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Mason, OH

    Re: One of the most inspirational stories I have ever seen...

    Briefly discussed last year in here...


    Be less stupid.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: One of the most inspirational stories I have ever seen...

    Yesterday was the first I had seen or heard of this story. I didn't realize it was from last year.

  8. #7

    Re: One of the most inspirational stories I have ever seen...

    Riley always does a good job.

  9. #8
    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    east of WOY

    Re: One of the most inspirational stories I have ever seen...

    Quote Originally Posted by muskies5kad
    Riley always does a good job.
    Look, a brand new person.

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