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"My interest was not from a business perspective. Not at all. It was totally selfish. I wanted to look nicer and have more function, more mobility, more freedom, more movement."

— Marilyn Hamilton

Tennis wheelchair, 1983
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The Quickie, one of several brands of sports wheelchairs, helped popularize wheelchair tennis. Hamilton used this chair to win the 1983 U.S. Women's Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships.

— Gift of Marilyn Hamilton

Marilyn Hamilton
Tennis Wheelchair Maker

After a hang-gliding accident in 1979, Marilyn Hamilton turned her disability into an opportunity for thousands of athletes who use wheelchairs and play sports. Two ingenious friends made her a lightweight, maneuverable chair out of hang-gliding material. The versatile chair perfectly suited Hamilton's athletic lifestyle. She knew that increased mobility could benefit others, so the trio of friends founded the Quickie Wheelchair Company in 1980. When Hamilton took up tennis, her company developed a wheelchair for the sport. Hamilton removed a seemingly insurmountable physical barrier and today tennis is one of the fastest-growing wheelchair sports.

Name: Marilyn Hamilton
Born: Dinuba, California, 1949–
  • Silver Medalist, Paralympic Ski Championships, 1982
  • National Wheelchair Tennis Singles and Doubles Champion, 1982
  • National Wheelchair Tennis Singles Champion, 1983
  • Founder of Winner on Wheels program for children in wheelchairs, 1991
  • Co-founder of Quickie Wheel Chair Company, 1980
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