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Inspirational Boston Marathon figure Rick Hoyt dies at 61

by | May 22, 2023 | Featured: News, News

Rick Hoyt

Rick Hoyt appeared with his brother, Russ, at Marathon School this past Thursday. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

Boston Marathon legend Rick Hoyt passed away Monday morning due to complications with his respiratory system, his family announced.

“It is with profound sadness that the Hoyt family announce the passing of our beloved brother and uncle, Rick Hoyt this morning,” the family stated. “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.”

A quadriplegic since birth, Rick, who had cerebral palsy, had battled health issues the last few years and had retired from participating in the Boston Marathon.

Pushed in a wheelchair by his father, Dick, Rick competed in marathons, triathlons and other endurance events for decades. Dick Hoyt died in 2021.

Known for inspiring millions, Rick made an appearance at Hopkinton’s Marathon School with his brother, Russ Hoyt, this past Thursday.

The Hoyt Foundation was to host the inaugural Dick Hoyt Yes You Can Run Together Road Race in Hopkinton this Saturday.

‘We will be making a decision on whether that will still happen on Saturday or be postponed until a later date,” the family stated.

Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray, a longtime friend and sometimes manager for Team Hoyt, called Rick “one of the most inspirational heroes this world has ever known.”

“We all will truly miss Rick as we have missed his father, but we will never, ever forget the gift they both left all of us — that we all can overcome obstacles and we can accomplish special things in our lives that have positive impacts on other people’s lives, too,” McGillivray shared. “As their famous motto stated, ‘Yes You Can.’ We will always be grateful, Rick, for your courage, determination, tenacity and willingness to give of yourself so that others, too, could believe in themselves, set goals and make a difference in this world as you have.”


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