HOLLAND, Mass. (WWLP) - Western Mass father and son team Dick and Rick Hoyt were praised today at their Holland restaurant with the unveiling of a statue in their honor.
It's a familiar pose for the Hoyts - Dick pushing Rick in the running chair. They've raced in the Boston Marathon and in Triathlon competitions all over the world, leading them to become an inspiration to the hundreds of people who turned out for their annual race to benefit Holland schools.
Many people inspired by Dick and his son Rick, pushed their disabled children in running chairs for today's race.
Kim Rossiter came from Virginia Beach, Virginia, for the race in which her older daughter was pushing her disabled younger daughter.
"I have a special girl named Aimsley and her older sister Reilly, and today they had an awesome opportunity to run together, next to Rick and Dick and the Long brothers who traveled all the way from Tennessee, " Rossiter told 22News.
The Hoyts helped inspire the creation of dozens of teams similar to theirs in the United States, and now interest has become world wide.
Dick Hoyt explained, "We got a call from Japan about six weeks ago, for us to go over and start one [race] over there. We've been contacted by Germany and Great Britain. It's going to continue for quite awhile and I think you'll see races that you can't run in unless you're pushing something."
Dick and Rick have received worldwide recognition for their work in helping to bring new opportunities of achievement for disabled people. From the turnout at their restaurant in this Eastern Hampden county community and from all over the country, their work may be more appreciated that ever.