Sunday, February 03, 2008

Go Team Hoyt!

I was going around the forums the other day and came across a thread about some of the most badass people in history. So, naturally The INTERNETS would post about people awarded with various medals and decorations throughout the two great wars as well as other wars. Then someone posted a short clip of Team Hoyt, which consists of a father (Dick Hoyt) and a son (Rick Hoyt), who takes part in 6 different Ironman Triathlon.

For those who are not in the know, the Ironman Triathlon is one of the most difficult and physically demanding competition due to the gruelling length and race conditions. Participants have to compete by kicking off in the US city of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and the race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim in Kailua-Kona Bay, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride across the Hawaiian lava desert to Hawi and back), and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island (from Keauhou to Keahole Point to Kailua-Kona); finishing on Ali'i Drive.

You're probably wondering what's so special about a father-son team taking part in a triathlon, which is an individual event?

Rick Hoyt, the son, was disabled at birth by a loss of oxygen to his brain because his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, and he also suffers from cerebral palsy. Doctors advised that Rick would spend his whole life in a persistent vegetative state. However, his parents never heeded their advice and went on to have a special chair built for Rick and the brilliant minds of Tufts University discovered that Rick, at the age of 12, have a sense of humour, which indicated intelligence. So, now Rick could communicate through the special computer by moving his head.

So, what does that have anything to do with the Ironman Triathlon? Well, the father, Dick, love his son so much that together they have participated in 942 events, including 216 Triathlons (6 of which were Ironman competitions), 20 Duathlons, and 65 Marathons, including 25 consecutive Boston Marathons. They also biked and ran across the USA in 1992 — a 3,735 mile journey that took them 45 days. I would like to also point out that in all of these races, the father was either pushing the son, who's in a special chair when he's running or putting him on a boat and swam across the water tugging the boat along.

They know that they are probably hours behind everyone else but to have a father carry his son through marathons upon marathons and triathlons is simply amazing and inspirational.

I don't think I've written well enough to justify what this man has done for his son; so, I'll leave you with this video of Team Hoyt in the Ironman Triathlon:

Also, one thing that's really touching is when Rich was asked what is the one thing he wished he could give his father, his reply was "The thing I'd most like is that my dad would sit in the chair and I would push him once."

Simply amazing.

And to think that God's love could be so much more.

Go Team Hoyt!

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