Dylan Alcott AO is a Paralympic tennis and basketball player who was awarded a Scholarship within the 2011 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program, and was paired with Andrew Gaze AM as his Mentor.
Dylan was born in Melbourne, Australia with a tumour wrapped around his spinal cord, which required surgery during the first few weeks of his life. The tumour was successfully cut out; however, it left him a paraplegic. At a young age, he struggled to come to terms with life as a paraplegic, however, after working through that difficult period, Dylan found a lifeline through sport – it changed his life forever, and he’s been changing the world ever since.
Dylan played his first game of wheelchair basketball in 2004 and made his World Championship debut two years later, where he won a bronze medal. He has made his name in wheelchair basketball through impressive performances as a Guard in the National League where he competed for the Dandenong Rangers, and was named an All Star in 2008. Dylan was a talented basketballer and was named the Most Valuable Player at the Junior National Basketball Championships.
He continued to dominate the sport with the Australian Rollers Wheelchair Basketball Team and was part of the gold-medal-winning team at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games – the Rollers beat the Canadians 72-60 in a close Final. “To be 17 and win gold… well it just doesn’t get any better than that.” Dylan said after the win. At the time he was the youngest competitor in Wheelchair Basketball and received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) after the tournament.
In 2009, Alcott accepted a scholarship at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where he won the College Championship division with the University’s wheelchair basketball team. After one year of study, he decided to move back to Melbourne to train for the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
In 2010, Alcott was a part of the Rollers success at the World Championships in Birmingham, England. It was the first world championship the Australian wheelchair basketball team had ever won, and Alcott was named in the World All Star 5 for the tournament.
His move home paid off in 2012 when he was selected in the Rollers team for the London Paralympics. The team played well throughout the Games and took home the silver medal, losing the final to Canada.
In 2014, Dylan decided to make a return to wheelchair tennis. It was a move that proved a good one and, by 2016, he was ranked inside the top five juniors in the world. Dylan is known as a keen philanthropist and set the world record the same year for the longest continuous playing of wheelchair tennis – he played non-stop for 24 hours and raised much-needed funds for two charities, Variety and The Starlight Foundation.
In January 2015, Dylan won his maiden Grand Slam title when he defeated David Wagner in straight sets at the Australian Open and by the end of the year, was ranked number 1 in the world, after winning eight titles including two Grand Slam singles titles.
Dylan won a second Paralympic Games gold medal at the Rio Games in 2016 – having made the switch from Wheelchair Basketball to Wheelchair Tennis – when he and quad doubles partner Heath Davidson defeated reigning champions Nick Taylor and David Wagner of Team USA. A day later, his Paralympic singles dream came true when he defeated Andy Lapthorne to win the gold medal in the Men’s Quad Singles.
In 2017, Dylan co-founded disability and accessibility training start-up Get Skilled Access and has remained a tireless advocate for people with a disability. He is a highly sought-after motivational speaker and travels the country, and the world, inspiring organisations to be the best versions of themselves.
Between 2018-2021 Alcott won ten singles and eight doubles Grand Slams at the Australian Open, French Open, US Open and Wimbledon. Tokyo 2020 (2021) was Dylan’s fourth Paralympic Games, and he secured his third Paralympic gold medal with victory in the Men’s Quad Singles and won silver in the Quad Doubles alongside Heath Davidson. Shortly after his fourth and final Paralympic Games, Dylan secured another slice of history as he became the first Australian to win a Golden Slam – all four Majors and Paralympic gold in the same year.
As an out and out star on and off the court, Dylan Alcott continues to inspire people and break down barriers every single day.
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2004: Wheelchair Sports Victoria Junior Athlete of the Year
- 2005: Wheelchair Sports Victoria Junior Athlete of the Year
- 2006: Wheelchair Sports Victoria Junior Athlete of the Year
- 2007: Paralympic World Cup, Manchester – Wheelchair Basketball, silver
- 2007: Most Valuable Player at Junior National Championships – Wheelchair Basketball
- 2008: Wheelchair Sports Victoria Junior Athlete of the Year
- 2008: Beijing Paralympic Games – Wheelchair Basketball, gold
- 2008: Awarded Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
- 2009: Paralympic Basketball World Cup, Manchester – gold
- 2009: IWBF AOZ Championship – gold
- 2010: IWBF World Championships, Birmingham – gold
- 2010: Named in the All Star 5 Team
- 2010: Paralympic Basketball World Cup, Manchester – bronze
- 2012: London Paralympic Games – silver
- 2015: Australian Open – Quad Singles, Champion
- 2015: US Open – Wheelchair Tennis, Champion
- 2016: Australian Open – Quad Singles, Two-Time Champion
- 2016: The Don Award Finalist
- 2017: Australian Open – Quad Singles, Three-Time Champion
- 2018: Australian Open – Quad Singles, Four-Time Champion (only male player to date, in the Open era across all formats of the tournament to claim four-straight singles wins)
- 2018: Australian Open – Wheelchair Tennis, Doubles Champion (partner Heath Davidson)
- 2018: US Open – Wheelchair Tennis, Two-Time Champion
- 2019: Australian Open – Quad Singles, Five-Time Champion
- 2019: Australian Open – Wheelchair Tennis, Two-Time Doubles Champion (partner Heath Davidson)
- 2019: French Open – Quad Singles, Champion
- 2019: Wimbledon – Quad Singles, Champion
- 2020: Australian Open – Quad Singles, Six-Time Champion
- 2020: Australian Open – Wheelchair Tennis, Three-Time Doubles Champion (partner Heath Davidson)
- 2020: French Open – Quad Singles, Two-Time Champion
- 2021: Australian Open – Quad Singles, Seven-Time Champion
- 2021: Australian Open – Wheelchair Tennis, Four-Time Doubles Champion (partner Heath Davidson)
- 2021: Wimbledon – Quad Singles, Two-Time Champion
- 2021: French Open – Quad Singles, Three-Time Champion
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Olympic Games – Quad Singles, gold
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Olympic Games – Quad Doubles, silver (partner Heath Davidson)
- 2021: Secured the first ever Golden Slam by an Australian when he won the Quad Singles at the US Open
- 2022: Named Australian of the Year
- 2022: Made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)