Ethics Hero: Dick Hoyt

hoytsI don’t think I’ll have to explain why Dick Hoyt is an Ethics Hero.

Rick Hoyt has cerebral palsy and has been a quadriplegic since childhood. When he was in middle school, he told his father, Dick, that he wanted to compete in a charity marathon for a basketball player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Dick Hoyt agreed to push his son’s wheel chair in the race. When it was over, Rick told him, “Dad, when I’m ‘running,’ it feels like I’m not handicapped!” Touched and inspired, Dick Hoyt, 72, went on to push his son, now  51, in 1,091 events, including 252 triathlons, 70 marathons, 94 half marathons, and 155 five-kilometer races. They have never finished last. The father-son team is preparing to compete in their 31st Boston Marathon next week.

When they compete in the triathlons, Dick pulls his son in a boat tied to a cord as he swims, and pedals for him on a tandem bicycle for the cycle round. In 1989, the family set up the Hoyt Foundation which has the goal of helping disabled youths participate in activities that their disabilities would normally preclude.

Rick says his only wish is that he could make his dad sit in the chair and push him for once.

Every now and then, I learn about people whose kindness, selflessness and ethical instincts place me in awe.

Dick Hoyt is such an individual.


Facts and Graphic: Opposing Views

6 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Dick Hoyt

  1. I always get tears in my eyes when I read or hear anything about these two. They’re an inspiration to parents everywhere, and really just humanity in general.

  2. These days EVERYTHING always seems so complicated and difficult to me. Just the frustration of trying to get a live person on the other end of the phone can give me the screaming meemies! Usually, by the end of any given day, I end up feeling sorry for myself at least once.

    Now, though– having read about the Heroic Hoyts– I feel kind of ashamed of myself. Thanks for printing this story, Jack. It’s truly humbling. I’m going to look into this further and see how I can help.

  3. I stood on the Boston Marathon finish line and watched this man push his son across. I was breathless. Thank you for including him.

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