In a huge win for the disabled community, Aussie Paralympian and living legend Dylan Alcott has been announced as the Australian of the Year for 2022. He’s the first person with a disability to win the award. You fkn beaut!!
Alcott flew out to Canberra for The Australian of the Year award ceremony on Tuesday night hot off his win against Britian’s Andy Lapthorne at the Quad Wheelchair Singles Semifinals at The Australian Open. He beat Lapthorne 6-3, 6-0, and will next face off in the finals.
The 31-year-old was awarded the title of Victorian of the Year 2022 in November making him a dual-wielding titleholder. That checks out in our books.
The award is a recognition of not only his work advocating for people living with a disability but his incredible achievements in sport.
Alcott said in the lead-up to the awards this week that he’s driven to continue advocating for people living with disabilities.
“My purpose is to change perceptions so people with disability can live the lives they deserve to live, not just in sport, but in employment, in education, in film, on TV, in dating, going to bars, going to festivals,” he said via The Age.
“And I asked myself when I was retiring ‘have I done that in tennis?’
“And I feel like I have. So it’s time for me to do something else. So that purpose will never stop.”
“I’m just so thankful and grateful that it came into my life and i can perform on the big stage and change perceptions along the way of what people think of us, people with disabilities,” he told Channel 7 at the time.
“Not just as athletes, hopefully, this is changing perceptions beyond that.
“Not every person with a disability can be a Paralympian. But they can be a doctor, a lawyer, a mum, a dad, a teacher, an educator, politician whatever it is. But they don’t often get the opportunities that we get here to play sport.
“It means that much to me. It’s huge. And to get it done today is bloody awesome.”
Grace Tame previously held the Australian of the Year title and ended her tenure the best way anyone can: by deliberately tanking a photo op with Scott Morrison.