Team Hoyt - motivational speakers

 

 

Invite the best motivational speaker that your employees   and business associates may ever here!  Dick and Rick Hoyt touch hearts, inspire souls and motivate audience members to action.  Listen to their story and you will be changed forever.          

Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they’re not in a marathon they are in a triathlon — that daunting, almost superhuman, combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America.  It’s a remarkable record of exertion — all the more so when you consider that Rick can't walk or talk. 

At Rick’s birth in 1962 the umbilical cord coiled around his neck and cut off oxygen to his brain. Dick and his wife, Judy, were told that there would be no hope for their child’s development.

"It’s been a story of exclusion ever since he was born.  When he was eight months old the doctors told us we should just put him away — he’d be a vegetable all his life, that sort of thing. Well those doctors are not alive any more, but I would like them to be able to see Rick now." - Dick Hoyt

The couple brought their son home determined to raise him as "normally" as possible. Within five years, the Hoyts were convinced Rick was just as intelligent as his siblings. Dick remembers the struggle to get the local school authorities to agree.  Since Rick couldn’t talk, they thought he wouldn’t be able to understand. The dedicated parents then taught Rick the alphabet. "We always wanted Rick included in everything," Dick said. 

A group of Tufts University engineers came to the rescue, once they had seen some clear, empirical evidence of Rick’s comprehension skills. "They told him a joke," said Dick. "Rick just cracked up. They knew then that he could communicate!" The engineers went on to build an interactive computer allowing Rick to write out his thoughts using the slight head-movements that he could manage. Rick came to call it "my communicator." A cursor would move across a screen filled with rows of letters, and when the cursor highlighted a letter that Rick wanted, he would click a switch with the side of his head.

In 1975, Rick was finally admitted into a public school. Two years later, he told his father he wanted to participate in a five-mile benefit run for a local lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Dick, far from being a long-distance runner, agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair. They finished next to last, but they felt they had achieved a triumph. That night, Dick remembers, "Rick told us he just didn’t feel handicapped when we were competing."

"Team Hoyt" was born and Dick and Rick began to compete in more and more events. Rick reflected: "What I mean when I say I feel like I am not handicapped when competing is that I am just like the other athletes, and I think most of the athletes feel the same way. In the beginning nobody would come up to me. However, after a few races some athletes came around and they began to talk to me. Now many athletes will come up to me before the race or triathlon to wish me luck."

It is hard to imagine now the resistance which the Hoyts encountered early on, but attitudes did begin to change when they entered the Boston Marathon in 1981, and finished in the top quarter of the field. Dick recalls the earlier, less tolerant days with more sadness than anger: "Nobody wanted Rick in a road race. Everybody looked at us, nobody talked to us, nobody wanted to have anything to do with us. But you can’t really blame them - people often are not educated, and they’d never seen anyone like us. As time went on, though, they could see he was a person — he has a great sense of humor, for instance. That made a big difference."

After 4 years of marathons, Team Hoyt attempted their first triathlon.  This was no small task since Dick didn't know how to swim and hadn't been on a bike since he was six years old.  They completed their first marathon on Father's Day 1985.

For the past twenty five years or more Dick, has pushed and pulled his son across the country and over hundreds of finish lines. 

"Rick is the one who inspires and motivates me, the way he just loves sports and competing," Dick said.   And the business of inspiring evidently works as a two-way street; Rick shares: "Dad is one of my role models. Once he sets out to do something, Dad sticks to it whatever it is, until it is done. For example once we decided to really get into triathlons, dad worked out, up to five hours a day, five times a week, even when he was working."

Most important, the Hoyts can see an impact from their efforts in the area of the handicapped, and on public attitudes toward the physically and mentally challenged.

 Rick himself is confident that his visibility — and his father’s dedication — perform a forceful, valuable purpose in a world that is too often divisive and exclusionary. He typed a simple parting thought:

"The message of Team Hoyt is that everybody should be included in everyday life."

(excerpted from an article by David Tereshchuk)

Travels From:

Massachusetts

Available For: 

Awards Ceremonies, Banquets, Conferences / Meetings, Conventions, Employee Appreciation Programs, Fundraisers, Keynote Addresses, Sales Meetings, Special Events.

Call now to book Team Hoyt for your next event!  763-550-0513.

   

 

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