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Able Absolutely loved this book Filled with a combination of moving and funny stories, with and underlying message of acceptance of diversity and striving to make accessibility the norm Could not put it down Absolutely loved Able by Dylan Alcott It was brilliantly written and was very entertaining and a brilliant first Autobiography Dylan Alcott was already one of my Idols and after reading his book I look up to him even I highly recommend for everyone The astonishing life of Australia s most inspirational athleteNot long after he was born in 1990, Dylan Alcott was found to have a tumour on his spine The surgery to remove it was successful, but left Dylan a paraplegic Part of an average Aussie family in Melbourne, Dylan experienced his fair share of bullying and loneliness growing up By early high school he was feeling pretty low depressed, overweight and fearful for his future Then, somehow, he discovered sport swimming, basketball and tennis.Fast forward 10 years or so and the Order of Australia recipient has climbed to the top of not just one sport but two, winning gold and silver at two Olympics and in two sports Now the four time winner of the Australian Open, is not only a sports star, but a motivational speaker, triple j radio host, music fan, keynote presenter, business owner, and youth mentor with his own youth foundation In Game Changer, Dylan Alcott at last tells his story. What an impressive young man, cramming in so many achievements already gold medals in two sports, radio career, TEDx talk, a music festival, a foundation helping children with disabilities in fact, I started reading this as he was playing to collect his first singles Quad Wimbledon Championship.I ll admit, Dylan first caught my attention by being a morning radio host on triple j, but he has really put disability and wheelchair sports on the radar for so many of us.I admired that he has explained each of his friend s and opponent s disability normalising it, and showing just how people acquire disability Talking about it, and being open is important, as Dylan talks about, but it also demonstrates how disability can happen to anyone at anytime in ours lives Powerful.Along with Dylan s personal story, I have learnt why it s called the Paralympic, which was not what I had thought, and also the background to how he quality for the Quad tennis category.Even his travel tales were enlightening, from a wheelchair users perspective one you definitely don t hear enough of.I loved his fandom of tennis greats, music names, and Oprah What an ambassador for Australian sport, for people with disabilities, and for all Aussies. Full disclosure This is not a book I would ve picked up for myself It was a bookclub book, and as someone who doesn t like sport, reading a memoir of a person who does sport wasn t high on my list However, I went in with an open mind I like people, and I like bodies, and so I hoped I could like this book.The beginning chapters, when Dylan describes his life as a baby, I was a bit frustrated Surely these chapters might ve been better written by someone who remembers it Like his brother or parents It seemed out of place in a memoir.It didn t get better This book is basically a list of places, names, and scores Like, literally the scores from paralympic matches If I wanted to read about scores, I can google that The reason people read a memoir is to connect with the person and their experience, not mindlessly consume numbers.In this text, Dylan refers to his Ted talks I looked them up, listened to them, and enjoyed them They re much concise and interesting than the book in fact, all the best bits of the book are included in the Ted talk My advice would be that, if you re interested in Dylan, do the Ted talk, not the book.I could get on board with Dylan s messages about inclusion, but at the same time, his self deprecation concerning his weight as a teenager is in contradiction to this Dylan seems to want everyone to be included, except fatties Not cool.And, finally, I am so saddened that there are no significant women in Dylan s life His mum and girlfriends barely get a mention they re just names on a page Any connection that Dylan has for them is not communicated through text It s seems like Dylan s life doesn t even pass the Bechdel test This makes me sad that young boys might read this text, and think that the life they should aim for is being surrounded by men, sport, drinking, and music concerts. This was a gift so not a book I would have chosen I am not interested in tennis and am not interested in reading autobiographies of young people, let s wait until they are older and wiser and then write.Dylan s story is interesting but this was not well written, was repetitive and for non tennis or basketball lovers a bit tedious.I do like what Dylan represents. I ve had the pleasure of meeting Dylan twice now and hearing him speak For what he had achieved in 27 years is darn impressive And his passion and commitment to bringing disability into the mainstream is downright impressive If you haven t seen him play tennis Go If you haven t heard him on the radio, wait a minute he hasn t announced his new station just yet..but most of all watch this guy speak Wise beyond his years and so much than first impression Also as Molly would say, so yourself a favour and lookup the set on abciview A bit too sports heavy for my liking dah, I know but love appreciate Dylan s incredible disability advocacy work I admit to having a total crush on Dylan Alcott I first heard him as a presenter on Triple J, and that is to my shame as he s an olympic gold medalist in wheelchair tennis and tennis is another of my obsessions But it s been hard enough to get women s sport into the prime time TV, to get wheelchair tennis on is harder although thank you, Channel 9, for showing this during the Aussie Open this year What I love about Dylan is his total belief that he can do anything anybody else can I disagree He does than most anybody else can Backpacking through Europe alone Gold medals in two sports Careers as a presenter, motivational speaker, charity director Crowdsurfing in his wheelchair at festivals That definitely rates a mention.Anyway, I loved this book It s written as he talks, it s entertaining, and it s bloody positive all the way. Dylan Alcott s book is so important He Is accomplished and articulate, and Able details his incredible sporting, media and music event achievements within his 20 something years As he said in his Logies speech, Growing up I deeply struggled with being in a wheelchair, and the worst thing was when I turned on the TV no one was like me One of the reasons I did hate it was when I turned on the TV, I never saw anybody like me and when I did see someone like me, it was a road safety ad where someone drink drives, has a car accident, and the next scene was someone like me whose life was over And I was like that s not my life I wanted to get a job on TV because I love sharing stories but also to show that people with disability can be talented, funny, humorous, just normal people enjoying their lives Able will help young Disabled people, particularly in the sport and media fields, see what is possible, and develop disability pride I hope that it teaches non disabled people to overcome their fears and prejudices about disabled people Able shows the struggle Dylan had with the physical aspects of his impairment, particularly as a baby which also made for a frightening start to his life for his parents But with the right support, and lots of hard work and determination, he made it both defying the expectations of doctors and the wider society, and making it as a mainstream sport and media darling Dylan s writing style is very much geared towards the youth market It was a quick, easy and interesting read My publisher gave me this book, as Dylan and I share a publisher.

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