Few people win Paralympic Games medals in both basketball and tennis. Dylan Alcott is among that small group, joined only by American Randy Snow and Dutchwoman Maaike Smit. Alcott's disability is paraplegia; he was left paraplegic after surgery as an infant to remove a tumour on his spinal cord. However, that hasn't stopped him from becoming one of the best in the world in two different sports.
Starting in wheelchair tennis, Alcott soon switched to wheelchair basketball and was just 15 when the Australian national team, the Rollers, won world championship bronze in 2006. Two years later, at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics, Alcott was the youngest member of the gold-medal winning team. He moved to the United States to continue playing wheelchair basketball at college, but returned to Australia in 2010 to focus on the national team, which won the World Championship that year and silver at London 2012.
Alcott returned to his first sport, wheelchair tennis, in 2014 and quickly established himself as a player to beat. He defeated the then world number three, Andy Lapthorne, that July for his first ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour Super Series title. He has gone on to dominate the quad tennis scene, winning 15 Grand Slam tournaments (nine singles, six doubles) as well as double Paralympic gold in Rio. He is also the first quad tennis player to complete the career grand slam, having won all four majors in both singles and doubles.
“The biggest thing is that for every one thing you can’t do, there are 10,000 others you can."”
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