Team Hoyt - motivational speakers





What People Are Saying...

Wanted to let you guys know how AWESOME Dick's presentation was.  Our offices have been truly buzzing since the meeting.  Everyone is asking me for extra copies of the book and Ironman videos to share the story with all of the coworkers who were not at the meeting.  I will tell you that I watched Dick's videos a few times and thought that I was not going to be emotional during his presentation.  Well, I was wrong.  I bawled like a baby, just like everyone else!  We had a number of executives from our parent company in attendance and they were also blown away by Dick's presentation.  Dick is so humble and the fact that he's been able to do such extraordinary things out of love for his son is truly inspirational.  What an amazing man!    

I've been sitting here brainstorming the past week and trying to come up with a way to show Dick how much his presentation meant to all of us, not only in our professional lives, but personally.  To be honest, I am not sure how we could possibly express our admiration and respect for Dick.  We conducted a post-meeting survey and people said that we would never be able to top Dick's presentation.  They said that by listening to Dick, they truly felt that anything was possible. 

They said that they would never forget his message and I believe that's true.  Personally, I am in the midst of training for the Austin Freescale Marathon in February and when I was running my longest-pre-race run (22 miles) Saturday after the meeting, I kept picturing Dick's face and it truly helped keep me going. 

Mary Beth Yurko

Guaranty Insurance Services 

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars -- all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much -- except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life," Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution."

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. "No way," Dick says he was told. "There's nothing going on in his brain."

"Tell him a joke," Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!" And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that."

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."

That day changed Rick's life. "Dad," he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

"No way," Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?"

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way," he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling" he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 -- only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

"No question about it," Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century."

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape," one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago."

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

"The thing I'd most like," Rick types, "is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once."

Rick Reilly

Sports Illustrated

I just got back from a trip to Gatlinburg, TN on company business.  During these trips they usually bring on some high powered speaker to pump us all up and send us on our way.  You know the type, the Brooks Brothers suits, the $150 Tie, etc..

Well this trip was different.  I got to meet a guy named Dick Hoyt.  No fancy Ties or suits, No screaming and jumping up and down with his fist in the air.  But by far the most powerful message I have ever heard.  I won't ruin the video by telling Dick's story.  I can honestly say in 15 years of being sent to these motivational programs, this is by far the most touching and influential, I have ever encountered.

Dick and Rick have competed in over 900 athletic events together, including the Boston Marathon and the Ironman Triathalon.

Joe C
Sales Manager for Akzo Nobel Coatings

I just wanted to share with you what a tough act you are to follow. 

We are in the process of trying to find a speaker for our upcoming sales kick-off.  It is essentially the same event that Dick spoke at last year.  When I asked my VP what type of speaker he was looking for, he said without hesitation, “one just like Dick Hoyt”.  Well, as they say, sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.  We’ve been kissing a lot of frogs but have found no Dick Hoyt.  There is no other Dick Hoyt!

I tell you this because I hope you know how special you are and what an impact you make on those you come in contact with.  Trust me; you are a very tough act to follow and have set the bar so very high. 

Good luck in the marathon!  I will be thinking about all of you!

Paul Casso

BMC Software

This is more than a story of a father's love, though it certainly speaks to all fathers, this one included. It's also a story of courage, the kind any of us could be called upon to demonstrate in our own lives. And if we were, we'd have two wonderful examples to follow in Dick and Rick Hoyt, both of whom I am proud to call friends.

Bobby Orr
NHL Hockey Great

My name is Danya, and my son Zachary is 13 years old. He also was born with athetoid cerebral palsy. He drives a power wheelchair and uses an augmentative communication device. He has attended regular classes at regular schools since first grade (he did attend a UCP preschool and kindergarten to get a good start and learn to drive his chair). He is currently in 7th grade in above average classes getting straight A's. Needless to say, I am extremely proud of him.

Today, I watched a show called "Amazing Families" and saw your story. I just wanted to say "thanks" to your whole family. I am very aware that it is because of people like yourselves, who fought before us to get acceptance in the real world, that our struggles are less. Yes, I do have to be vigilant and fight for Zachary to have what he needs, but because others have done it before us, it is easier. Now I can go into a school meeting and say, "Zachary will go to college. Look at Rick Hoyt, he did it, and so will Zach." You have helped me to affirm that anything is possible if you are willing to be creative and work hard.

Zach's passion is music. He has already composed several pieces that his school band has performed, and I'm sure he will continue to do amazing things as he gets older. So thanks again, for blazing a trail for all of the families that come along behind you. You are an inspiration to us all.

Danya Bryant

Dick, I have fond memories of meeting you. Through the dedication of the 'Hoyt Team' a much needed awareness of the rights of handicapped persons will be brought to America. Nancy joins me in sending our warmest appreciation to you and our congratulations for your humanitarian and civic-minded service. God bless you.

Ronald Reagan
40th President
United States of America

The session you held was outstanding and was one of the highest rated sessions of the Conference. It was not only inspiring, but it was very emotional as well. After you spoke, many people came up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed it. I would say that it is one that will always be remembered.

T. Quinn Spitzer, Jr.
Education Chairman
Young President's Conference


On behalf of the residents of The Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining us as our keynote speaker for our 6th annual luncheon. Thanks in part to your participation; we were able to raise an astonishing $250,000 for our life-changing programs.  I might add that is the largest amount we have ever raised at one of our luncheons.

 Truly, Dick, your amazing story kept our audience spellbound, and inspired each and every attendee to find their own strength and hope within.  You are not only a wonderful father and athlete, but a wonderful man and it was such a pleasure getting to know you on your brief visit to Houston.

Jeffrey F. Smith


Partial Client List

Morgan Stanley



American Express

Phillips Medical Systems

Allstate Insurance

PHH Mortgage

Guaranty Insurance Services

Philadelphia Insurance Company

ScriptLogic Inc.

Gartner, Inc.

Google, Inc.

BMC Software

Columbus Life Insurance Company

Goodwill Industries

Allegra Network

Mega Bloks Inc.






©2005 - The Barry Agency
P.O. Box 1414
Maple Grove, MN