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Tennis Legend Dylan Alcott Has Been Named Australian Of The Year For 2022

Tennis Legend Dylan Alcott Has Been Named Australian Of The Year For 2022

He's promised to use the honour to continue his disability advocacy.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Tennis legend Dylan Alcott has been named Australian of the Year for 2022.

The Paralympic champion and Golden Slam icon was announced as this year's recipient last night (January 25) in a glitzy ceremony in Canberra.

Alcott pressed pause on his Australian Open campaign, where's he's hunting for his eighth Grand Slam win, to travel to the nation's capital and accept the award.

He has been awarded Australian of the Year for his 'unmatched' talents in tennis as well as for being an incredible disability advocate.

Being the absolute legend that he is, he took the mick out of everyone at the ceremony when they gave him a standing ovation as he made his way to the stage.

"I think standing ovations are one of the most ironic things in the world, by the way. But I'll take them," he said.

Alcott said he felt like the 'luckiest' person in the country after receiving the amazing honour and said he will continue to campaign for disability rights in Australia.

"We have to fund the NDIS, first and foremost," he said last night.

"And listen to people with lived experience and ask them what they need so they can get out and start living the lives they want to live and remind ourselves that it is an investment in people with disabilities - so they can get off pensions and start paying taxes.

"We've got to get them the vaccines and the tests and whatever else they need so they can get out there and start living their life.

"If a person with a disability needs a free daily [rapid antigen] test so they feel confident going out and doing things that we all might take for granted, they've got to get that RAT test."

Alcott explained how he hated his disability when he was growing up.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter

He had an operation when he was a baby to remove a tumour that was wrapped around his spinal cord.

That eventually cause him to become a paraplegic and Dylan said it was difficult trying to navigate his early years in a wheelchair.

But he found tennis and credits the sport with saving his life.

Alcott has since won four Paralympic gold medals, one for the Rollers Australian wheelchair basketball team and three for tennis.

He's won 23 quad wheelchair grand slam titles in tennis and last year scored a Golden Slam after winning the US Open, French Open, Australian Open, Wimbledon and a Paralympic gold medal.

"Paralympic athletes, people like that are the reason that I got into sport, advocates like Stella Young, they paved the way so I can be here tonight. They should have been Australian of the Year as well," he said.

"I'm honestly so honoured to be up here and it's because of them and everybody in my life that I sit here as a proud man with a disability tonight.

"I'm the luckiest guy in this country."

Featured Image Credit: Orange Pics BV/Alamy Live News

Topics: Australia