Dylan Alcott OAM
2022 Australian of the Year, Paralympic Medallist, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur & Keynote Speaker
Dylan Alcott is the 2022 Australian of the Year, a dual sport athlete and the youngest ever wheelchair basketball gold medallist in history. Impressively, he has represented Australia in wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis since the age of 13.
The founder of the Dylan Alcott Foundation, which helps young people struggling with their disabilities, Dylan’s true passion is his work as a motivational speaker. By telling his inspirational story of life, Dylan continually tries to alter and change the way people with disabilities are perceived in the wider community. He works as a keynote corporate speaker, bringing disability awareness to schools. He also works extensively in the Australian media landscape, as host on Triple J Radio, and with regular appearances on Channel Ten’s The Project and Channel 7 Sports.
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Dylan Alcott was born with a rare type of tumour wrapped around his spinal cord that required immediate surgery when he was just three weeks old. He spent three years fighting for his life yet as he grew up, through extraordinary determination, discipline and plain hard work, he became one of Australia’s best and most widely recognised Paralympians.
In 2008, at the age of 17, Dylan was a member of the Australian wheelchair basketball team, The Rollers, which won gold medal victory at the 2008 Paralympic games in Beijing. From there, he and The Rollers achieved victory at the 2010 FIBA World Championships, becoming the first Australian basketball team to ever win the title. At the tournament, he 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 2013, Dylan re-launched his tennis career, and was granted a wild card into the 2014 Australian Open, reaching the semi-final. After only 18 months into his comeback, he won his first ever grand slam title, The Australian Open, and remains ranked number one in the world.
At the 2016 Rio Paralympics, Dylan won gold in both the singles and doubles tennis, making him one of an elite few to have won Olympic gold in two different sports at two separate Olympics. That year he also won the 2016 Australian Open and was awarded the winner of the 2016 GQ Sportsman of the Year. He also made sports history in 2016, as the first wheelchair athlete to win the Newcombe Medal, the highest individual award in Australian tennis. In 2018, Dylan won the 2018 Australian Open quad wheelchair title, along with several grand slam singles titles, including the four Australian Open titles. In 2019, he won his fifth consecutive Australian Open title. He has won eight grand slam singles titles to date.
Dylan’s achievements are not restricted to the sporting field. In 2017, he created the Dylan Alcott Foundation, a foundation to help young people who are struggling to come to terms with their disabilities. The foundation aims to improve quality of life through mentoring, scholarships and grants which assists individuals to be involved in education and sport. Dylan is also an entrepreneur, and is the co-founder of Get Skilled Access, a training provider educating corporates and governments on how to better understand and treat customers with disabilities.
A keen philanthropist, Dylan broke the world record playing wheelchair tennis for 24 consecutive hours non-stop, setting the new world record and raising an incredible $100,000 for two charities.
In 2018, Dylan published his autobiography, Able – Gold Medals, Grand Slams and Smashing Glass Ceilings. In 2019, he won the Australian Logies 2019 Graham Kennedy Most Popular New Talent Award award.
One of Dylan’s greatest achievements was being inducted as a member of the Order of Australia in 2009 at the age of 18. He was also nominated for 2017 Young Australian of the Year.