'He inspired a nation': Dylan Alcott says goodbye to tennis

Through sports, Alcott found a platform to spread his message. He first won Paralympic gold in basketball in 2008 at the age of 17, then...


Through sports, Alcott found a platform to spread his message. He first won Paralympic gold in basketball in 2008 at the age of 17, then switched to tennis. But the attention was far from immediate. “Legit, there were five people there,” Alcott said of his first Australian Open match in 2014. “Five. My dad, my mom, my brother, a few friends and a few people who got lost and accidentally passed by.

When Alcott did interviews and made appearances, his charisma earned him greater visibility, both as a radio and TV personality and as a spokesperson for brands like ANZ Bank. “The reason I was able to break through is because of who I am, what I say, and what we stand for as a community,” he said. “Fortunately, I know how to string two words together. And I also have an attitude of action where I just want it done.

Alcott expressed frustration that other successful athletes with disabilities had nowhere near his resonance, but he hoped his could lead the way.

“Tennis players have won Grand Slams and wheelchair gold medals before, but they haven’t,” Alcott said. “It has nothing to do with me playing tennis, to be honest. It’s about what I say, I guess who I am, mostly being fully proud of who I am, authentically me. and challenge the status quo.

The Australian Open has embraced Alcott, featuring him in its advertising campaigns. His face smiles against Barty’s on a mural near the south entrance to the tournament. Wheelchair tennis, particularly the quad division, never caught Alcott’s attention. But he expressed optimism that players who will now be able to win Grand Slam event titles in his absence – including Schroder and fellow Dutchman Niels Vink – will be able to maintain interest.

“They’re ready to go,” Alcott said. “I am redundant. I’m officially a retired, washed-up real loser, and I love it.

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Newsrust - US Top News: 'He inspired a nation': Dylan Alcott says goodbye to tennis
'He inspired a nation': Dylan Alcott says goodbye to tennis
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