Dylan Alcott has delivered an inspirational speech after securing his sixth consecutive Australian Open title, encouraging younger generations of kids with disabilities to follow their dreams.
Alcott defeated British rival Andrew Lapthorne in the Men’s Quad Wheelchair Singles final on Rod Laver Arena, 6-0 6-4 on Saturday afternoon.
While his tennis was spectacular, it was the 29-year-old’s post-match speech that stole the show.
Seeing is believing and, for kids with disabilities watching Alcott, it’s affirmation they, too, can achieve greatness. It’s a responsibility Alcott doesn’t take lightly, having had a dearth of people like him to look up to as a child.
“If you look around at the top row, every single person in that top row pretty much has a disability and is in a disability seat,” Alcott said.
“Look, they’re full.
“So to any young person, please keep doing what you’re doing.
“I promise you as we keep continuing to grow, society will support you and help you do whatever you want to do, like it has done for me.”
Alcott – who also has one French, US and Wimbledon title to his name – lauded the Australian Open for breaking down barriers when it came to disability.
“Tennis honestly saved my life, it really did, when I was younger. And the Australian Open single-handedly changed my life, it really has,” he said.
“It’s the most inclusive of the Grand Slams.
“To be able to back us to come out here and put on a show live on TV around the world and in front of this unbelievable crowd … I love every single one of you for supporting what we do.”
Alcott and his sponsors have pledged to donate $40,000 to people with disabilities affected by the bushfires.
Story Credit: foxsports.com