A bit far afield from our regular fare, but some business lessons here, too.
Wikipedia: Team Hoyt is a father (Dick Hoyt) and son (Rick Hoyt, b. 1962) in Massachusetts who compete together in marathons, triathlons, and other athletic endeavours. Rick 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. Dick carries him in a special seat up front as they bike, pulls him in a special boat as they swim, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run.
Thanks to his parents, who ignored the advice of doctors that he would live life in a persistent vegetative state, and Tufts University engineers, who recognised that his sense of humour indicated intelligence, at the age of 12, Rick was able to learn how to use a special computer to communicate, using movements from his head. The first words he typed were, “Go Bruins!”, and the family learned he was a sports fan. They entered their first race in 1977, a 5 mile benefit run for an injured lacrosse player who was a schoolmate of Rick’s.
Dick is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard. Rick earned a college degree from Boston University in special education, and now works at Boston College. They continue to compete in races, and are also motivational speakers.
As of January 31, 2008, Team Hoyt had participated in a total of 958 events, including 224 Triathlons (6 of which were Ironman competitions), 20 Duathlons, and 65 Marathons, including 25 Boston Marathons. They have also biked and run across the USA, in 1992 — a 3,735 mile journey that took them 45 days.
When asked what one thing Rick 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.”
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