Beloved Boston Marathon legend, Rick Hoyt died today, May 22, 2023 at 61-years-old. His passing comes 2 years after that of his longtime marathon partner, and adoring father Dick Hoyt, who passed at age 80 in March 2021 due to aging-related heart failure.
Dick and Rick quickly became the face of hope, victory and the Boston Marathon, competing as a team in races for 4 decades. Rick who had cerebral palsy that left him quadriplegic and in a wheelchair. In 1977 Rick asked his father to push him in a charity run for a lacrosse player paralyzed in an accident. From that moment on, Team Hoyt was born.
Dick pushed Rick through 32 Boston Marathons, becoming so synonymous with the race, a statue was dedicated to them and shines just feet from the start line in Hopkinton, MA. Over the 40+ years competing together Team Hoyt raced in over 1,000 road races, marathons, and triathlons all over the world and inspired millions in the act.
A statement from the family noted Rick’s cause of death and deep grief for the family:
It is with profound sadness that the Hoyt Family announce the passing of our beloved brother and uncle, Rick Hoyt this morning. Rick was 61 years old. Rick passed away due to complications with his respiratory system. As so many knew, 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. Rick was also a pioneer in education. His mother Judy Hoyt changed the laws allowing her son to be educated alongside his non-disabled peers. His family is heartbroken and requests time to grieve and will share details as they become available.
The Hoyt Foundation also carries forward the legacy of the athletic duo. Founded in 1989,”The Hoyt Foundation aspires to build the individual character, self-confidence and self-esteem of America’s disabled young people through inclusion in all facets of daily life; including in family and community activities, especially sports, at home, in schools, and in the workplace.” While the two members of Team Hoyt passed, their legacy is immortal and will never be forgotten.