“Father of the Century”英雄父亲
A devoted father completed a triathlon carrying his 13-year-old daughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy (大脑性瘫痪), across land and through water.
Rick van Beek’s feat of endurance and show of love for his daughter Madison (Maddy) have led many to call the man from Michigan, the U.S. the “father of the century.”
But it was not the first race of its kind for van Beek, who said he had participated in more than 70 events, including half-marathons, triathlons and other outdoor races, as part of “Team Maddy.”
He and Maddy took part in the triathlon event on August 11. Together they completed the 0.3-mile swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run. For the swimming portion, van Beek tugs his daughter through the water in a kayak and then pulls her behind him in a cart as he cycles. He runs the last leg (赛程) pushing her in a buggy (幼儿车).
Van Beek, 39, said that he wants to complete the events with his daughter, who is unable to walk or talk, because she adores being outside.
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing and thinking. It is caused by injuries or abnormalities (畸态) of the brain. Symptoms include tight muscles and joints and muscle weakness, and may affect one side of the body or both sides.
Maddy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy two months after she was born.
“It was one of the worst days of our lives,” van Beek said. His outlook changed when he saw his daughter taking part in a marathon more than four years ago, and saw the pure joy on her face.
“Shortly after that day I gave up smoking for Maddy. It has been a long road, with many bumps, but we are better,” he wrote in his blog.