Dylan Alcott all smiles after being awarded Australian Of The Year 1

Dylan Alcott all smiles after being awarded Australian Of The Year

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Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott is in fine spirits as he emerges for the first time after receiving nation’s top honour


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He made history this year after becoming the first Australian of the Year with a physical disability since the award program started 62 years ago. 

And on Wednesday, Dylan Alcott was in fine spirits as he was spotted leaving his Melbourne home for the first time after receiving nation’s top honour.

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The wheelchair tennis star, 33, was spotted being picked up by a car headed for Melbourne Park, ahead of his match in the men’s wheelchair singles at the 2022 Australian Open. 

Victory: Dylan Alcott, 33, (pictured) was in fine spirits as he was spotted leaving his Melbourne home for the first time after being named the 2022 Australian of the Year on Wednesday

Victory: Dylan Alcott, 33, (pictured) was in fine spirits as he was spotted leaving his Melbourne home for the first time after being named the 2022 Australian of the Year on Wednesday 

Dylan appeared cheery as he chatted to several friends before making his way into the vehicle.

At one point his girlfriend, sexologist Chantelle Otten, and two friends were seen waving Dylan goodbye and wishing the him good luck before he left.

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The sighting came less than 24 hours after the Olympian was flown to Canberra where he was awarded the Australian of the Year for his work as disability advocate.

Game time: The wheelchair tennis star was spotted being picked up by a car headed for Melbourne Park, ahead of his match in the men's wheelchair singles at the 2022 Australian Open

Game time: The wheelchair tennis star was spotted being picked up by a car headed for Melbourne Park, ahead of his match in the men’s wheelchair singles at the 2022 Australian Open

Heading out: Dylan appeared cheery as he chatted to several friends before making his way into the awaiting vehicle

Dylan Alcott all smiles after being awarded Australian Of The Year 2

Heading out: Dylan appeared cheery as he chatted to several friends before making his way into the awaiting vehicle

Alcott, who was named Australian of the Year for 2022 on Tuesday night, has also been honoured with an AO for his service to Paralympic sport and as a role model for people with disability, after he won all four grand slams in 2021.

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He is hoping to win his eighth consecutive title in the wheelchair quads singles at the Australian Open, which will be his last tournament.

It comes after Alcott told Today show hosts Allison Langdon and Karl Stefanovic that his road to success hasn’t always been easy.

Good bye! At one point his girlfriend, sexologist Chantelle Otten, and two friends were seen waving Dylan goodbye and wishing the him good luck before he left

Dylan Alcott all smiles after being awarded Australian Of The Year 4

Good bye! At one point his girlfriend, sexologist Chantelle Otten, and two friends were seen waving Dylan goodbye and wishing the him good luck before he left

Unique style: Barefoot Chantelle (pictured) sported a shock of blue hair, and wore a pink singlet and black pyjama trousers

Unique style: Barefoot Chantelle (pictured) sported a shock of blue hair, and wore a pink singlet and black pyjama trousers 

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‘I just hated myself so much as a kid. Hated myself, hated my disability, hated being different,’ he said during a Zoom call from his Melbourne home.

 ‘I wanted to be a tennis player. I wanted to be Pat Rafter, I couldn’t be Pat Rafter. I didn’t see anybody like me.’  

Born with a tumour wrapped around his spinal cord, Alcott underwent surgery to have it removed when he was a few weeks old and subsequently became paraplegic.

Honour: The sighting came less than 24 hours after the Olympian was flown to Canberra where he was awarded the Australian of the Year for his work as disability advocate.

Honour: The sighting came less than 24 hours after the Olympian was flown to Canberra where he was awarded the Australian of the Year for his work as disability advocate. 

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The seven-time Australian Open champion said two things were vital in transforming his perspective that he could have a fulfilling life.

‘First and foremost, I had the best friends and family who told me I was worthy, and I was allowed to be loved,’ he said.

‘Then I started seeing people like me in my late teens, and I got involved in sport. I went to a tournament outside of Albury – but it wasn’t the tennis. I saw a man in a wheelchair driving a car. I didn’t know you could do that.

Pictured: Australian of the year Dylan Alcott poses with the award after being given the nation's top honour

Pictured: Australian of the year Dylan Alcott poses with the award after being given the nation’s top honour

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‘He had a wife and kids. I didn’t know you could do that. He was having a beer. I didn’t know you could do that. But most importantly, he was smiling and happy – and I wasn’t.

‘And it showed me there is a life out there that I can start living.’

The tennis star said as soon as he became proud of his disability, everyone around him did too. 

Final hurrah: He is hoping to win his eighth consecutive title in the wheelchair quads singles at the Australian Open, which will be his last tournament

Final hurrah: He is hoping to win his eighth consecutive title in the wheelchair quads singles at the Australian Open, which will be his last tournament

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