Dick and Rick Hoyt have provided inspiration to many people over the years, and now they are being recognized for their hard work with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYS.
The father-son duo is well known around Boston for their participation in 31 Boston Marathons and over 1,000 other endurance events. Dick, 73, pushes his son Rick, 51, in a custom-made running chair during the events because his son has cerebral palsy and is unable to move on his own.
The Hoyts have been running together since 1977.
The duo was recently honored at the start of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass., with a bronze statue. They ran in this year’s marathon, which was supposed to be their last. But after the tragic events on April 15, the two pledged to run one more time in honor of those who died and those who survived the bombings.
Now, they will be able to add the Jimmy V Perseverance Award to their long list of accomplishments. The award will be given at the ESPYS in July as a tribute to the late Jimmy Valvano, who coached the N.C. State men’s basketball team to the 1983 national championship. Valvano later lost his life to cancer in 1993, but not before he could inspire millions of people.
“Throughout their lives, Dick and Rick Hoyt have exemplified dedication and persistence, living out Jim Valvano’s famous words about perseverance,” Maura Mandt, executive producer of the ESPYS, said in a statement. “The Hoyts serve as a symbol of their hometown as they consistently display strength and resilience — just like the city of Boston did in the aftermath of the marathon tragedy. Their numerous accomplishments have served as a true inspiration to many people and we’re proud to honor them with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award.”
The Hoyts were honored when they heard the news, and they released this statement.
“Rick and I are grateful to be receiving this award, and learning that Jimmy Valvano’s motto was ‘Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up’ is amazing as we have always said that there is no such word as ‘can’t’ in the Hoyt vocabulary,” Dick said. “Our motto is ‘Yes, you can’ and we strive to always persevere even when others tell you that it cannot be done. We want to thank The V Foundation and the ESPYS for honoring us with this award.”
The Hoyts will join Kay Yow, Kevin Everett, Don Meyer, George Karl, Anthony Robles and Eric LeGrand as recipients of the award.
Photo via Facebook/The Official Team Hoyt Site