If there really was a 'Father of the Century' award, it would go to this triathlete named Rick van Beek. The 39-year-old has participated in more than 70 races, all while carrying his teenage daughter Maddy, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
In a bid to make his daughter happy, he began training for outdoor races in 2008. Van Beek, who was out of shape and a heavy smoker, also realised it would be beneficial for him. He persevered to get into shape for his daughter, and raised money for charities along the way.
'I gave up smoking 2 packs a day and chewing a
tin a day to be better, for Maddy. It has been a long road, with many
bumps, but we are better,' he says.
Beek told the Fox 17
that he wants to complete the events with his daughter, who is unable
to walk or talk, because she adores being outside. Regulars refer to
them as 'Team Maddy'.
The duo recently completed a sprint triathlon, which included a 0.3-mile swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run. And throughout the whole event, Maddy's dad would keep her close as they transitioned from section to section.
You can stay updated about Maddy and her dad's adventures via Beek's blog.