Tennis champion Dylan Alcott gave an emotional farewell speech after announcing his retirement from the sport.
Alcott sat for his final press conference a very emotional man. One of Australia’s greatest athletes, he has been an ambassador for the sport and for disability awareness.
The Australian of the Year was first spotted as a Paralympic medal-winning teenager in basketball. After that, he became one of the most recognisable tennis champions in the world.
Alcott gave an emotional farewell speech after announcing his retirement, recapping his journey from youth to where he is today.
“The first round at my first Australian Open in 2014, January 23, legit, there were five people there — five,” he said, as quoted by ABC News.
“My dad, mum, brother, couple of mates, and some people got lost and accidentally walked past. Legit, not exaggerating. I’m on the opening billboard when you get here in Melbourne, bloody Australian of the Year, for God’s sake. What the hell is that? That’s ridiculous.”
Release the waterworks
“This just sums up how it’s changed,” he continued.
“I hope he doesn’t mind this, but Andy Murray just messaged me: ‘I don’t know if I have articulated that well, but you’re an absolute rock star and inspiration. Thanks for everything you’ve done.’
“That kills me. Makes me want to cry. Special. You’re part of it. Like I don’t even care you’re in a wheelchair. They don’t give a sh*t. It’s special. It’s so nice, you know. It’s like that everywhere here. I never thought that would happen. It’s cool, really cool. It’s better than winning a tennis tournament.
“Life is about opportunity. If we have no expectations of what people with disability can do, we’re not going to give them opportunities. People backed me and gave me an opportunity and that’s why we did it,” he concluded to applause.