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Boston Marathon Legend Dick Hoyt Dies at 80

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2021

Father and son Boston Marathon race team Dick Hoyt, right, and his son Rick Hoyt walk across the start line as they warm up before they run the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Stephan Savoia/Associated Press

Boston Marathon legend Dick Hoyt died Wednesday at the age of 80. 

CBS Boston reported the news. 

The Boston Athletic Association issued a statement on Hoyt's death, explaining how inspirational he was to so many as he pushed his son Rick—who was born with spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy—in a racing chair while completing 32 Boston Marathons:

"The B.A.A. is tremendously saddened to learn of the passing of Boston Marathon icon Dick Hoyt. Dick personified what it meant to a be a Boston Marathoner, showing determination, passion, and love every Patriots' Day for more than three decades. He was not only a fan-favorite who inspired thousands, but also a loyal friend and father who took pride in spending quality time with his son Rick while running from Hopkinton to Boston.

"As a leader of Team Hoyt, Dick Hoyt and his son Rick quickly became Boston Marathon legends after their first run in 1980. Pushing Rick in a custom racing chair, Dick and Rick completed 32 Boston Marathons together, including a final finish in 2014. The pair's bond and presence throughout the course became synonymous with the Boston Marathon. Team Hoyt's 1,000th race together came at the 2009 Boston Marathon, and in 2015 Dick served as Grand Marshal of the race in recognition of his impact on the event and Para Athlete community.

"Dick Hoyt was one-of-a-kind. We will sincerely miss Dick, and are keeping his many family and friends in our thoughts and prayers."

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also reacted to the news:

Mayor Marty Walsh @marty_walsh

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dick Hoyt, a @bostonmarathon legend. Dick epitomized what it means to be Boston Strong and inspired so many along the way. Boston will always miss you. Rest In Peace, my friend. https://t.co/VfL0uFpnYy

Christina Prignano, Travis Andersen and Katie McInerney of the Boston Globe noted the Hoyts participated in more than 1,000 road races, marathons and triathlons. Dick was named the grand marshal of the Boston Marathon in 2015 and ran his final one in 2014.

Both Dick and Rick Hoyt were recognized with a bronze statue near the Boston Marathon starting line in 2013.

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