Dylan Alcott OAM, a dual sport athlete, has represented Australia on the international stage in both wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis since the age of 13. In 2008, at the age of 17, Dylan was a main contributor in the Australian wheelchair basketball teams (‘The Rollers’) gold medal victory at the 2008 Paralympic games in Beijing, becoming the youngest ever wheelchair basketball gold medallist in history.
Dylan was born with a rare type of tumour wrapped around his spinal chord, which required immediate surgery only weeks after birth. After nearly 20 operations, all hope looked lost, as Dylan was not progressing as first thought, spending the majority of the first three years of his life in hospital. However, just after his 3rd birthday, Dylan defied the odds as his health started to take a turn for the better, and through sheer determination and hard work has been able to strive into one of Australia’s best and well-recognized Paralympians.
One of Dylan’s greatest achievements was being inducted as a member of the Order of Australia in 2009 at the age of 18. From there, Dylan and the Rollers followed up their win in Beijing with victory at the 2010 FIBA World Championships, becoming the first Australian basketball team to ever win the title. At the tournament, Alcott was selected in the World All Star 5, making him the best player in his position in the world. In 2012, he returned from the London Paralympic Games with a silver medal.
In 2014, Alcott returned to wheelchair tennis, and by the end of 2015, he was ranked number 1 after winning eight titles including two grand slam singles titles. At the 2016 Rio Paralympics, he won gold medals in the Men's Quad Singles and Doubles. He was named the 2016 Australian Paralympian of the Year due to his outstanding achievements.
In 2017, Alcott established the Dylan Alcott Foundation "with the core purpose of helping young Australians with disabilities gain self-esteem and respect through sport and study". In September 2017, Alcott was appointed Australian Patron for International Day of People with Disability.
In 2018, he launched Ability Fest, a universally accessible music festival, featuring pathways for wheelchairs, quiet areas for people with sensory disabilities, and Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreters (in his spare time, Alcott attends music festivals, and has become known for his 'wheelchair crowdsurfing').
Alcott finished studying at the University of Melbourne and now has a Commerce degree. The book Able: gold medals, grand slams and smashing glass ceilings, written with Grantlee Kieza, was published by ABC Books in 2018.
Dylan’s true passion is his work as a motivational speaker, and through his inspirational story telling, Dylan is continually trying to alter and change the way people with disabilities are perceived in the wider community. He works with multiple charities, brings disability awareness to schools, enjoys MC-ing events, and is a regular guest on many radio and television stations across Australia.
Most recently, Dylan Alcott has become a record 10-time Grand Slam singles champion, winning his sixth consecutive Australian Open title, at the Australian Open 2020.