Be Strong. Be Fit.


A Special Son. A Loving Father. A Touching Story. Team Hoyt.

February 4th, 2008 · 39 Comments ·


I was reading something about triathlons and I came across Team Hoyt by chance from the Net. After watching one of their video clips – “I Can Only Imagine”, I could not help but was totally inspired by the father and son team. If you have been delaying your plan to exercise or to watch your diet or to join a marathon, this inspirational true story is for you. If you are a father with kids at home or even if you are a child with a loving father, I want you to watch the video clip too.
While waiting the video to load, let me share with you the real life story of Team Hoyt:Father (Dick Hoyt) and son (Rick Hoyt) have joined many marathons, triathlons and other athletic competitions. But, what makes them really different from others is that Rick suffers from cerebral palsy – a condition involving permanent tightening of the muscles caused by damage to the brain during the time of birth. Rick was disabled at birth by a loss of oxygen to his brain because his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.
Therefore, Rick does not swim. Rick does not cycle. Rick does not run.
When his father swims, Rick is lying in a small boat being pulled by his dad. When the father cycles, son is sitting in the seat-pod from his wheelchair, attached to the front of the bike. When the father runs, he pushes Rick in a special wheelchair. They have been going over hundreds of finishing lines throughout US for the past 27 years.




When Rick came to the world in 1962, doctors told his parents that they have no hope for Rick. But Dick and his wife, Judy, did not give up. The couple brought their son back home and determine to raise him as normally as possible.

The couple managed to raise $5,000 in 1972 to get a special built interactive computer that allowed Rick to write out his thought using slight head movements. A group of Tufts University engineers agreed to build the computer after they believed that Rick had clear comprehension skills. Since then, Rick was able to communicate to people around him.

In 1975, Rick was finally admitted into a public school. Two years later, Dick brought Rick to participate in a fund raising 5-mile run. Dick pushed Rick in a wheelchair to finish the race. They finished second to last, but Rick was so happy that he told his father that he did not feel handicapped when they were in the competition. That run was the first time “Team Hoyt” competing before they participated more marathons.


During this journey, almost everyone looked down at Rick. No one talked to Team Hoyt. No one wanted to run beside them. But, the father and son kept going strong. After 4 years of marathons, Team Hoyt went for their first triathlon. Dick did not know how to swim before this. So, he put in lot of his effort in picking up the skill. He worked out up to 5 hours a day, 5 times a week, even when he had to work. He wanted to set a good role model for Rick – once you set out to do something, sticks to it for whatever it takes.

Not only once, the team has participated in many races.  After all these years, here are some of their proud achievements:

  • 216 Triathlons, 6 Ironman distances
  • 20 Duathlons
  • 65 Marathons, 25 Boston Marathons

They have also biked and ran across the USA in 1992 with a total of 3,735 miles in 45 consecutive days.

In year 2008, Dick Hoyt and Rick Hoyt are going to be 68 and 48 years old. Finally, after so many years, Team Hoyt managed to raise public attitudes toward the physically and mentally challenged. Their best time, 2 hours 40 minutes in 1992 is merely 35 minutes from the world record. I mean, world record hold by someone who does not have to pull another man, cycle another man and push another man.

Dick said, “Those doctors who asked us to give up hope are not alive any more, but I would like them to be able to see Rick now.”


Mun’s Comment:

  • It is not easy to swim, cycle and to run in a single race. Dick has done it, together with his son. The special father and son relationship has touched me so much. When Rick was asked about the thing he really wants to give his dad – “The thing I’d most like…is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.”
  • When I showed the video to one of my friends, he told me with tears in eyes that “This is the kind of father I want to be someday.”
  • I started out this post as a way to encourage my readers to set a fitness goal and determined to achieve it. But after watching the videos many times, tears of admiration has overcome me. I was simply blown away. Team Hoyt is more than a sport team in marathon and triathlon. It is also a story of a father’s unselfish love for his son. The story teaches me what really matters. Family, love, determination and sacrifice.

I am not so sure about whether these two human beings have touched you, but I hope that you have learned something from them.


A special son. A loving father. A touching story.

If you wonder what the song played in the video, it is I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me.


I Can Only Imagine lyrics

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine


I can only imagine [x2]

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you

If you like this song, buy I Can Only Imagine from Amazon by Mercy Me.



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Category: Motivation

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39 responses so far ↓
  • Vertigo // Feb 4, 2008 at 9:38 AM

    Yep. Seen this a few time again. Saw it again when I lost my motivation to go on in life. One of the greatest father in the world. I would do the same for my child too!

  • dailymuscle // Feb 5, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    I’ve been listening to this song over and over again for the past few weeks, wondering where on earth I’ve heard this before… and now I know! This video was played at my church for Father’s day last year – and the song stuck to my head ever since. Thanks Mun!

    This is in incredible story of the human spirit. Never underestimate what you are capable of. You’ll be blown away.

  • tomatoinc // Feb 9, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    thanks for reminding me what’s important in my life.

    *real tears8*

  • Trisha Greenlee // Jul 15, 2008 at 2:55 AM

    THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Lord for Great things in the world to out weight the bad ones. Rick you and your dad keep up the great job!!!!!

    God Bless you both.

    Trisha,Dan, and Bri

  • Franzel Mariño // Sep 8, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    The story about the TEAM HOYT was actually the topic in our Church service last Sunday.. The story had actually touched everyone who attended the service. This is truly a very special story between a father and a son. Thanks for the motivation.


  • kelly paulate // Sep 21, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    I cried when i watch that it so inspiring and emotional im happy because its true a father/mother can do everything for there child/children im happy for u and your son this is how we say in philipines mabuhay ka

    I am 10 years old and i support u i know mother/father can

  • angel villanueva in philipines // Sep 21, 2008 at 4:18 PM

    im so happy because i see that even if your son is sick u can make him happy even if you are tired of joining i know your tiredness will be happy when u see your son smile dont give up:) and i know u will never going to give up :)

  • Cameillia p. Hudson // Sep 29, 2008 at 11:30 PM

    Wow! What an inspiration. I think every parent should watch this! I am just in awe of you two, you are absolutely amazing!! Thank you for allowing God to shine, and do his work through you. You have certainly reached my inner spirit And so many others and I know you will continue to touch so many more! Go Team Hoyt you are a living testimony to the world!!!
    Thank you,
    Cameillia P. Hudson

  • Linda from Texas // Oct 8, 2008 at 11:55 PM

    I am totally awestruck! Both of you are truly an inspiration to everyone.

    God Bless you and your family.


  • Robert Bishop // Oct 23, 2008 at 6:24 AM

    I am a pentecostal preacher. I will be preaching tomorrow night. Unless it is changed, I plan to preach a message about overcoming adversity. I usuall uses at least one illustration from life in this present world. No doubt I will be referring to this story, not only for illustration, but for personal encouragement. I could write much more, but excuse me, I have to find the Kleenex. Great article!

  • Jeff Chagrin // Oct 30, 2008 at 9:40 AM

    There are no words — but if I had to find them: LOVE, LOVE, GUTS and more LOVE.

  • Sylvia // Nov 9, 2008 at 2:02 AM

    Thank you for sharing the amazing story and video clips of father & son Hoyt. It is so touching, inspiring and encouraging. What a blessing. They are the true winners.

    “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, ….. for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Cor. 12:10

  • Paul Vargas // Nov 27, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    A good friend showed me the video this week and I was really taken by it. I am a triathlete myself and “I CAN ONLY IMAGINE” what TEAM HOYT goes through. When I am racing I sometimes say “is this really worh it”. A few months ago a close friend was taken from us. After watching the video,my purpose for racing has changed and I can say that “it is really worth it”.

    I have been inspired by TEAM HOYT and will continue to compete for my close friend who was taken from us. Thank you TEAM HOYT for the motivation and good luck in future races.

  • Manuel Duardo Jr // Dec 27, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    I totally love this story of the father son relationship and how that what ever it may be …..things are going to get better! ! !


  • suliman // Jan 14, 2009 at 5:47 PM

    it is remarkable.
    i was topuched by it.
    go hoyt team.
    a true father

  • Teri Lynn // Jan 19, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    This story is just as touching today as the first time I saw it. The song fits perfect. I would like to thank Dick for showing all parents what loving unconditonally is truly about and thank Rick for showing others how to perservere through adversity. Your story is amazing and a true testimony to others. Phil 4:13 Through HIM all things are possible.

  • kharleona,philippines // Oct 8, 2009 at 3:35 AM

    i saw the video clip from facebook..i was so touched,even the song is still in my head..i cant get over the video, i even posted it twice…a special child who’s truly blessed to have a wonderful family who never gave up on him, with such a loving a father who even w/ his illnesses dindnt stop him from joining n finishing the race,..unselfish love indeed..i know my dad will do the same n i hope this story will inspire parents w/ special children..its ur love that will keep them strong..i dont know what else to say..simply undescribable love..GO TEAM HOYT!!! GODBLESS U BOTH !!!! KEEP GOING N KEEP INSPIRING PEOPLE OF ALL AGES AROUND THE WORLD!!!

  • Vbee@Indonesia // Oct 17, 2009 at 10:31 PM

    very touching..God is Good, all the time..!! (Bravo Team Hoyt..!!, God Bless Them all..)
    Thx for the share..
    Il’share it with all my frenz, hope this story can touch their lifes too..

    God Bless U…

  • Edwina // Oct 21, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    I too stumbled across a video on facebook and was brought to tears by the video. I had an aunt with cerebral palsy and Rick very much reminds me of her. Thank goodness for parents who would do anything for their child selflessly and for showing the rest of the world that every life is special.

  • Henrietta // Oct 22, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    Team Hoyt… I pray God continues to grant you strength and endurance. God bless.

  • pete dyess // Oct 23, 2009 at 1:51 AM

    Dear Mr Hoyt and Rick , just wanted to tell you I love you ! In the name of Jesus! Dick you have to be one of the most amazing men ever! I’m glad we all have a father like you in heaven but for a human father to do what he has for his son like you is one great testimony! You are truly an amazing inspiration and watching the video reminds me how are father in heaven also looks after us through anything if we will only let him! I have a wonderful father myself and am blessed with a wonderful loving family! Just wanted to say thank you dick and Rick! Rick, keep him going my brother! Much love to both of you , thank you and god bless! i will see you both on the other side, and there Rick , You will be able to run like the wind!

  • Pooja and Shivanna // Nov 3, 2009 at 8:41 AM

    This i am sure has touched so many lives throughout the world…………
    The dedication these parents has shown towards their son is limitless..
    No words can describe your actions, no reward can match your effort only god can bestow upon you the blessings an happiness you deserve……….

  • Mario // May 10, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    I’ve watch the video twice, and twice I’ve cryed, even if I consider myself a pretty tough guy. I am a father too and I think Team Hoyt is an example for all of us for the love and dedication the both of them share.

  • Alene // May 17, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    This is truly an inspiring story. I was deeply touched by the kind of love and dedication Mr. Hoyt have for his son. I also admire Rick, for not giving up to experience life at its best despite of his disability. Mr. Hoyt and his wife are such wonderful parents for doing all that they did for their son. I wish the Hoyt family continues blessings and happiness. Thank you for being a great inspiration to us and to the rest of the world.

  • karthikeyan.v // Jul 11, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    it was a superb to see this video because i was touched the father as such a great love towards is son. i have to really respect both of them.

  • Mustafa Marconi // Sep 15, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    I LOVE This Man!!! He Is A True Example Of A Man!!! I would be HONORED To One Day Shake This Man’s Hands. God Bless Him And His Son!!!! Peace Be With You!

  • christina corner // Nov 4, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    we watched this story in one of our lectures and everyone was touched . god bless you and your son ! you are all brave and inspire eveyone x

  • marcelo // Nov 17, 2010 at 8:26 AM

    what an amazing things God has shown us to emulation. a hope that others presumably said there is none proved them wrong.

  • Vicki // Dec 2, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    What one person wants to do, can do and will do for another. The spirit of all men and women is shown here! Applause–Applause-Applause! Passing this on!

  • Miriam Acosta // Feb 10, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    I am so touched and moved by this story. I am still crying after 15 minutes and although I am a very dedicated parent, there are never enough sacrifices you can do for your child, everything is possible!!!!

  • Victoria // Mar 5, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    How can we have words to say how much this touches us all?
    Such an amazing family – in a time where people with disabilities were ignored, frowned upon, neglegted – this family took a stand and showed unconditional love!
    An amazing story. I have shared with everyone I know…. I hope they do the same.

  • Jake // Mar 17, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Does the son really want this?

  • Tammy // Mar 20, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    Wow! The tears are flowing…when I watched it, what struck me most other than this is REAL Love in action, was the fact that this is what Jesus did for us through His life here on earth, His death and resurrection, and He is still carrying us through the journey of this life until we cross the finish line and step into eternity. We cannot do it without Jesus! What an awesome Father God is…

  • Henrik Johansson // Mar 24, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    This was incredible, I am so thankful for having found my way here and heard about the Doyt’s! Thank you so much for writing this article!

    I am filled with admiration for both of them!

    Love, Henrik

  • Rob // Mar 26, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Incredibly motivating!! I have a special needs daughter, who has Muscular Dystrophy, and I want to do a triathlon with her. Struggling to find equipment to do it. Does anyone kno where to start? I’ve been surfing the web for days, but no luck.


  • Adriano // Apr 1, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    I watched the video several times and every time I cried, only the stones do not cry. I am a father myself and I think that Team Hoyt is an example to us all for the love and dedication.

  • Amees // Aug 15, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    wot can u say to that?????Love that fathers love….xxx.

  • Dian Gagnon // Sep 23, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    Heard of the Mr. Hoyt and his son. The love and dedication for this father and son team is something beyond belief. Tears were in my eyes throughout the whole story. Just could not believe that this happened. Watched my daughter train for a half Ironman and know the excruiating work she gave to it. Congratulations to this beautiful man and his son.

  • Lily Hayes // Nov 24, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Mr. Hoyt and Rick you both amaze me more than words can describe. Your gifts to each other are truly God given. Never have I been so touched and have shared your video clips with many others. May God Bless you both

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