Australian wheelchair tennis legend Dylan Alcott announced the 2020 Paralympics will be his last after winning another gold in the men’s quad singles final on Saturday.
The four-time Paralympian confirmed this on Saturday after prevailing 7-6, 6-1 against Sam Schroder from the Netherlands.
“I’m not coming back to the Paralympics ever again.
“I love the Paralympic Games so much. It means so much to me. When I was 17, I got to play with the Rollers [Australian wheelchair basketball team] and we won gold and it was life changing. Paralympic sport saved my life. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I owe it so much. To get it done today was bloody awesome.
“It’s the sweetest of all my wins because I got pushed. I shouldn’t have won. I had the expectations of the whole nation on my shoulders but I think Australia would have survived if I lost. I remind myself that so I don’t have that much expectation,” he said.
The 30-year-old rarely gets emotional but this latest victory, away from friends and family who watched on at home in Australia, meant more than any of his decorated career.
He said, “That was the hardest tournament I’ve ever played.
“I feel like an old ancient man. I’m in agony. I’m just so thankful and grateful that I was able to get it done. I’ve worked so hard. The Australian public’s got behind me and my career, the whole Paralympic movement, I’m just such a proud Paralympian. I’m proud of my disability.
“I was almost done after Rio and then I just kept going. [These Paralympics] got delayed a year. I was in a dark place when it got delayed because I was done and I found a second wind and my family got me through and my team. I didn’t think I was going to make it. The extra year was so bad for me because the Dutch kids got awesome. We found a way to keep motivated. I’ve got a few more tournaments left in me but not three years left. It’s so special to go out on top like this.
“Everyone has been crapping on about the golden slam but I couldn’t care less right now.
“I’ve got to celebrate this for what it is, which is one of the biggest achievements of my career. I’m just honoured to be here and to get it done.
“The US Open, I’ll think about when I get to New York. I’m a Paralympic champion for the fourth time [in] basketball and tennis. It’s incredible stuff.
“I’ll drink ten thousand beers.
“Get ready, Tokyo. Get all your beers ready. I’m so excited, I haven’t had a beer in ages.”