Alcott eyeing gold in Rio
Paralympic athlete, fund-raiser, public speaker and handy rapper - Dylan Alcott will aim to add another feather to his cap by becoming a wheelchair tennis gold medallist in Rio.
Australian Paralympian Dylan Alcott wanted to celebrate a world record-breaking 24 hours of wheelchair tennis, so he crowd-surfed his way to centre stage of a music festival and rapped alongside his hip hop idol Ghostface Killah in front of thousands of people.
It was the beginning of summer 2014, and Alcott had just completed a marathon wheelchair tennis game in Melbourne to raise $100,000 for the Starlight Foundation and Variety Children’s Charity.
The next day at Meredith Music Festival in country Victoria, Ghostface, of Alcott’s favourite band Wu Tang Clan, asked for a punter to come onstage to sing a verse from Protect Ya Neck.
It wasn’t just any song, it was Alcott’s pre-match psyche up track.
“I spat it word perfect,” he said.
Alcott stayed in contact with the group, performing with them again earlier this year at Rod Laver Arena after he wrote a character reference for Ghostface to help him get a visa to Australia.
“I like to think I’m a small part of the Wu Tang Clan now,” he said.
The world No.1 wheelchair tennis player in the quad class plans to go to Meredith again this year after he makes his Paralympic debut in the sport at Rio.
“It’s a good release when you train so bloody hard. It’s good to wrap up the end of the year by having a few beers and relaxing,” he said.
The 25-year-old is serious about breaking down misconceptions around disability, speaking at TEDXSydney last year.
He also aims to win Paralympic gold in two sports after switching from wheelchair basketball.
“It’s been done by a handful of people in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I can almost touch it,” he said.
Rio will be Alcott’s third Games, having won gold in Beijing in 2008 at age 17 with the Australian Rollers and silver with them again in London.
The men’s singles competition starts on Friday, and the Melbourne-based player is hoping to sing the national anthem again from the top of the podium.
“To sit on top of that podium with 12 of my best mates, tears in our eyes, belting that out in Beijing was one of the best moments of my life,” Alcott said.
“Hopefully I can equal that if not trump it by getting to do it by myself.”