Dylan Alcott’s sexologist girlfriend Chantelle Otten has said she’s ‘bursting with pride’ after her partner was named Australian of the Year for 2022 on Tuesday night.
The 30-year-old was front and centre when the news was announced in Canberra, throwing her arms around the wheelchair tennis star and commentator, 31, as he was awarded for his inspiring work with disabled Aussies.
Shortly afterwards, Chantelle took to Instagram to share sweet pictures with Dylan, one of which saw her kissing him on the cheek.
Pride: Dylan Alcott’s sexologist girlfriend Chantelle Otten couldn’t have been more proud after her partner was named Australian of the Year on Tuesday night
‘My Aus of the Year. Wow,’ she captioned another, as the pair travelled back home following the epic night.
She then wrote on Instagram: ‘I am bursting with pride. Dylan you are so deserving.
‘Your passion, determination and strong work ethic inspires me daily, and I’m so excited, as I have been every single day of this relationship, to see you change the world. And you’re doing a bloody job job so far!
‘I adore being your partner and will be cheering you on every single day, screaming your name with the rest of team Alcott and Aussies alike. You’ve already made Australia so proud, let’s have fun with this year. I love you xx (and so does Sauce).’
Chantelle was also in the crowd to watch Dylan beat Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne 6-3 6-0 in the Australian Open quad wheelchair singles earlier in the day on Tuesday.
He will play in the final on Thursday.
Heartwarming: The 30-year-old was front and centre when the news was announced in Canberra, throwing her arms around him in celebration as he was awarded for his inspiring work with disabled Aussies
Emotional: The pair were also seen sharing a kiss in the crowd as the incredible news was announced
It will sadly be the Alcott’s last tournament, with the Aussie set to focus his attention on his widely successful commentary career.
Chantelle and Dylan made their romance public at a tennis event in April 2019, and have been inseparable ever since.
Dylan gave an emotional acceptance speech at the awards ceremony on Tuesday, sharing how he once ‘hated’ himself for being different and now feels like the luckiest guy in the world.
He also humbly said that frontline workers battling the Covid-19 pandemic over the past year deserve the award more than ‘a guy who hits tennis balls for a living and likes talking’.
‘My Aus of the Year. Wow,’ Chantelle captioned another image, as the pair travelled back home following the epic night
His humility and humour was on full display from the very moment he took the stage and received the nation’s highest honour from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
‘I thought I was no chance until I got here and I saw this really good looking ramp. And I thought – I might have a chance here,’ he said to the raucous applause of the Canberra crowd before touching on his heart-wrenching story of how he became the person he is today.
‘I was born with a tumour wrapped around my spinal cord that was cut out when I was only a couple of days old,’ the Victorian explained.
His biggest fan: Chantelle was also in the crowd to watch Dylan beat Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne 6-3 6-0 in the Australian Open quad wheelchair singles earlier in the day
‘I’ve known nothing but having a disability. If I’m honest with you, I can’t tell you how much I used to hate myself. I used to hate having a disability. I hated it so much, I hated being different and I didn’t want to be here anymore.’
He said the pain of feeling different was magnified even more by the everyday messaging he received on the TV, the radio or in newspapers.
Alcott explained that as a youngster the only time he would ever see someone in a wheelchair was in a road safety ad where someone drink drives, has a car accident and is left paralysed.
‘There would be someone like me in tears because their life was over and I thought to myself, “that’s not my life” but I believed that was going to be my life,’ he said.
Relationship: Chantelle and Dylan made their romance public at a tennis event in April 2019, and have been inseparable ever since
‘But I’m so lucky that I had the best family, some of the best friends, my beautiful partner and my whole team who told me that I was worthy. And that I was allowed to be loved.
‘It wasn’t until my teenage years I started seeing people like me.’
Now he works tirelessly in the community leveraging his status as a professional athlete with 15 Grand Slam wheelchair tennis titles and three time Paralympic gold medals to change the perception around Aussies living with disabilities.
‘I love my disability. It is the best thing that ever happened to me,’ Alcott said.
‘I love the person that I am and the life I get to live and I’m the luckiest guy in this country, easily.’
Win: Dylan gave an emotional acceptance speech at the awards ceremony on Tuesday, sharing how he once ‘hated’ himself for being different and now feels like the luckiest guy in the world
WHO WERE THE NOMINEES FOR AUSTRAIAN OF THE YEAR?
ACT Australian of the Year: Patrick (Patty) Mills. Basketball player and Indigenous rights advocate.
NSW Australian of the Year: Professor Veena Sahajwalla. Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology at the University of New South Wales.
NT Australian of the Year: Leanne Liddle. Director of the Aboriginal Justice Unit.
Queensland Australian of the Year: Sue and Lloyd Clarke. Founders of Small Steps 4 Hannah.
SA Australian of the Year: Professor Helen Marshall. Vaccination researcher.
Tasmania Australian of the Year: Craig Leeson. Documentary filmmaker and journalist.
Victoria Australian of the Year: Dylan Alcott OAM. Athlete, paralympian, philanthropist, media commentator and advocate.
WA Australian of the Year: Paul Litherland. Cyber safety educator and campaigner.