Dylan Alcott – athlete, author, disability advocate, Order of Australia medallist and now sporting legend.
Alcott created tennis history this week after becoming the first man to achieve the “Golden Slam” by sweeping all four major tennis tournaments and the Paralympic title in one year.
Alcott achieved this rare feat on Sunday when he took out the US Open title. In the last twelve months, he has won victories in wheelchair tennis at Wimbledon, and the Australian, French and now US Open, in addition to a gold medal at the Paralympics.
“I used to hate myself so much.” he told reporters.
“I hated my disability. I didn’t want to be here anymore.”
“I found tennis and it change and saved my life. Now I’ve become the only male ever in any form of tennis to win the Golden Slam., which is pretty cool.”
In his book Able, Alcott tells how he lost the use of his legs due to a neural tube defect called lipomeningocele. A tumour made of fat cells called a lipoma forms; in Alcott’s case, it was on his spine. He describes it as a "tiny glitch" that changed how he was formed in the womb.
Alcott has gone on to not only become a superstar athlete but also a passionate disability advocate.
"It's always killed me that whenever I saw anyone who looked like me on TV, they were viewed in some negative, devastating way," he shares in his book, citing road safety ads and the assisted suicide theme in movies such as Me Before You.
"I want to change that and help people with disabilities all around the world."
As Dylan contemplates stepping out of the sporting arena, we want to say congratulations.
Dylan, we are very lucky that you have dedicated your life to showing how people with a disability can and do achieve their dreams.
For more information about the work Dylan does visit The Dylan Alcott Foundation