Lee Hinson began playing wheelchair tennis in 1987, because he said it was a good sport to play against both able-bodied and physically disabled athletes. He moved to Australia in 1989, after playing in the Australian Open, and has been there ever since. In 2008, Hinson participated in his first-ever Paralympic Games, competing in singles and doubles.
After being injured in a car accident in 1978, Hinson turned to music, began playing bass guitar and joined a couple of bands. His favorite bass player, incidentally, is a native of Australia and is part of one of the world's biggest bands. "Flea is still my hero," Hinson said of the Red Hot Chili Peppers member.
A more recent hobby Hinson has taken up is paragliding, which he started in 1998. There were not any wheelchair users in Australia taking part in the activity when he got started, so there was some initial trial and error getting the proper equipment. After 18 months and six different modified wheelchairs, Hinson and his instructor found the right one. Now he says the only able-bodied assistance he needs to paraglide is to have someone push him off the mountain. He has also discovered surfing as a future passion.
Hinson is a retired member of the U.S. Navy and can speak six different languages. He is married and has a daughter, Kaylee (16), and son Finnley Cole (9 months).
- 2008: U.S. Paralympic Team member, Wheelchair Tennis - Paralympic Games, Beijing, China
- 2008: Member of the U.S. World Cup team
- 2007: Silver medal, doubles - Parapan American Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- 2007: Winner, singles and doubles - Tasmanian Wheelchair Open, Hobart, Australia
- 2007: Runner-up, singles - Queensland Open, Caloundra, Australia
- 2006: Runner-up, singles - Victorian Wheelchair Open, Victoria, Australia
- 2006: Runner-up, doubles - USTA National Indoor ROHO Gateway Classic, Belleville, Ill.