Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gary Smith SI Profile on Dick & Rick Hoyt

Really remarkable feature written by Gary Smith for the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.

Titled "The Wheels of Life", it profiles Massachusetts native Dick Hoyt and his athletic endeavours with 49 year-old son, Rick Hoyt.

Rick was born a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy and since the 1970's, he's participated in over a thousand 10Ks, marathons and triathlons... while either in a trailer pushed, bike pedaled or raft towed by his father. The story is a powerful one and traffics in important themes ranging from the love of a family to import of not discounting the handicapped.

In terms of the telling of their journey, challenges and achievements, Smith seems well suited to the task as his stuff is nothing if not solid on sentiment. I suppose much of this is going to stem from the topic being written about, but find that invariably if there's a story with the author's byline, it's going to be be an emotion-inducing read. Seems a tough proposition for a writer to sign him or herself up for this type of work, but not get lost in flowery hyperbole when telling the story. I'd say Smith, however, does it well.

To the topic of Dick Hoyt and his son Rick... the Team Hoyt website can be found here and below is a story from the The Today Show on the duo.