The story of Rick van Beek and his daughter
I love inspirational sports stories, and I’m sure this story will just melt your heart. Will you believe that 13-year-old girl diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy can join in outdoor activities and triathlon? Well, probably you will feel inspired to know that a girl with Cerebral Palsy can join in a triathlon activity through the love and support of her father. Rick van Beek and his daughter Madison joined in a triathlon activity. Now they are called as Team Maddy. He completed the whole duration of Sanford and Sun sprint Triathlon with Maddy.
Doing the impossible
You’ll probably think that joining in a triathlon is impossible to a person with Cerebral Palsy. Well, looks like that Team Maddy proved that anything is possible as long that you are willing to do it. According to Rick, Maddy loves being outside. Although his daughter is unable to walk and talk, Rick knows well that his daughter loves being outside. So, he decided that he will fulfill his daughter’s dream to go out and join in a triathlon event.
Preparing his body and mind for the event was not an easy thing for Rick van Beek. In 2008, he was a heavy smoker which makes his body not ready to undergo training and physical activities but due to his desire and love for his daughter; he made his body ready for physical activities.
Rick van Beek:”She’s my heart and I’m her legs”
Maddy cannot join in the event alone so her dad, Rick van Beek used to carry her so that they can reach the finish line together. According to Rick, seeing his daughter happy is very fulfilling to him as a dad. He loves his daughter very much to the point that he is willing to endure so much pain just to fulfill the dreams of his daughter. “She’s my heart and I’m her legs.”
Father of the century
Rick van Beek is well determined to take care of his daughter and continue his triathlon. Rick showed excellent form, as he carried his daughter while completing the whole duration of the triathlon event. His strength and passion for fulfilling his daughter’s dream led many people to call him as ‘’father of the century’’.
Team Maddy participated in more than 80 physical activities and events such as triathlons, outdoor races, and half marathon. He also said that what he did for his daughter is not actually act of heroism because it was his act of showing how much he loves his daughter. He is dedicated to living a healthier lifestyle for his daughter Maddy.
Inspiration for many people
Unconditional love and support of Rick to his daughter motivated and inspired him to do things. His act of love and care is a proof that a father’s love is powerful. Maddy also inspired and touched people’s hearts. Maddy showed that despite her Cerebral Palsy, she can still inspire more people. As of now, Rick van Beek and his daughter Maddy live at Byron Center, Michigan.
The story of Rick and Maddy van Beek greatly shows how a father can endure pain just to make his daughter happy. Seeing your daughter suffering from a disease is not an easy thing for parents. It is one main reason Rick van Beek wanted to make his daughter happy by means of doing things that can lessen her suffering from her disease.
As I write about Team Maddy, I come to remember a quote by Audrey Hepburn “The best thing to hold onto in life, is each other.”
Read the Daily Mail’s interview here.
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