Boston Marathon Fixture Rick Hoyt Dead at 61

Hoyt, pushed in a wheelchair by his father Dick, was a staple of the race for decades
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 23, 2023 2:06 PM CDT
Boston Marathon Fixture Rick Hoyt Dead at 61
Rick Hoyt arrives at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, at Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Rick Hoyt, who with his father pushing his wheelchair became a fixture at the Boston Marathon and other races for decades, has died at 61, per AP. Hoyt died of complications with his respiratory system, his family announced on Monday. “Rick along with our father, Dick, were icons in the road race and triathlon worlds for over 40 years and inspired millions of people with disabilities to believe in themselves, set goals and accomplish extraordinary things,” the Hoyt family said in a statement. Rick Hoyt had cerebral palsy, which left him a quadriplegic, but he and his father became as much a part of the Boston Marathon as sore feet or Heartbreak Hill. With Dick Hoyt pushing, the two completed the course 32 times.

The Boston Athletic Association presents a Rick & Dick Hoyt Award each April to someone who exhibits their spirit through advocacy and inclusion. “Rick Hoyt will always be remembered as a Boston Marathon icon and for personifying the ‘Yes You Can’ mentality that defined Team Hoyt,” the BAA said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have been able to call Rick a friend, mentor, pioneer, and Boston Marathon finisher.” Dick Hoyt died in 2021.

“It’s hard to believe they both have now passed on, but their legacy will never die. Dick and Rick Hoyt have inspired millions around the world,” said Dave McGillivray, the race director of the Boston Marathon. “We will always be grateful, Rick, for your courage, determination, tenacity and willingness to give of yourself so that others, too, could believe in themselves, set goals and make a difference in this world as you have.” (More obituary stories.)

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