At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, wheelchair basketball-turned-wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott realised his dream of winning a second Paralympic gold medal in a second sport when he and doubles partner Heath Davidson defeated reigning champions, US duo Nick Taylor and David Wagner 6-4, 4-6, 5-7.
The following day he exceeded his own expectations when he won a second gold medal in Rio, beating world number three Andy Lapthorne in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
Dylan, who became a paraplegic at just three-days-old after undergoing surgery to remove a spinal cord tumour, has been passionate about sport from a young age, and achieved a rare feat when, at 19, he was selected to represent Australia at the 2010 IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Birmingham, England.
Having already won gold at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, Dylan used his international experience to help lead the Aussie Rollers to victory, as well as be named in the World All-Star Five, an achievement which remains among the highlights of his career to date.
Following the Rollers’ silver medal win in London, Dylan temporarily retired from sport, returning in 2014 to take the wheelchair tennis world by storm. Competing in the British Open, he defeated crowd favourite Andy to win his first Super Series crown.
Off the back of his success in Rio, Dylan became the first athlete with a disability to be awarded Tennis Australia’s distinguished Newcombe Medal and also to be named GQ’s Sportsman of the Year.
Now with a third Australian Open title under his belt, the 2016 Australian Paralympian of the Year’s career continues to skyrocket. Currently hosting triple j’s breakfast show, in 10 years’ time Dylan hopes to be recognised as a trailblazer for people with a disability in the media, as much as for his career in sport.
The Hampton East local readies himself for competition by listening to Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Protect Ya Neck’, once famously joining Ghostface Killah on stage at the 2014 Meredith Festival to rap one of its verses. A regular festivalgoer, Dylan has also made a name for himself wheelchair crowd-surfing at events across Australia.