Bethany Hamilton
Overview
 
Bethany Meilani Hamilton (born February 8, 1990) is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 professional surfer
Surfing
Surfing' is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore...

. She is known for surviving a shark attack
Shark attack
A shark attack is an attack on a human by a shark. Every year around 60 shark attacks are reported worldwide, although death is quite unusual. Despite the relative rarity of shark attacks, the fear of sharks is a common phenomenon, having been fueled by the occasional instances of serial attacks,...

 in which she lost her left arm, and for overcoming the injury to ultimately return to professional surfing. She wrote about her experience in the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. In April 2011, the feature film Soul Surfer
Soul Surfer (film)
Soul Surfer is a 2011 American drama film about the life of surfer Bethany Hamilton. At the age of thirteen, Hamilton lost her arm to a shark attack. The film details the events surrounding this attack and her struggle during the aftermath...

was released, based on the book and additional interviews.

On October 31, 2003, at the age of 13, Hamilton went for a morning surf along Tunnels Beach, Kauai
Kauai
Kauai or Kauai, known as Tauai in the ancient Kaua'i dialect, is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of , it is the fourth largest of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the "Garden Isle",...

 with best friend Alana Blanchard
Alana Blanchard
Alana Blanchard is an American professional surfer. At 21 years of age, Blanchard has gained fame as "one of the best female surfers," Alana is a ASP World Tour surfer, based in Kauai, Hawaii...

, and Alana's father and brother.
Quotations

I can't change it, That was God's plan for my life and I'm going to go with it.

People can do whatever they want if they just set their heart to it, and just never give up, and just go out there and do it

Encyclopedia
Bethany Meilani Hamilton (born February 8, 1990) is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 professional surfer
Surfing
Surfing' is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore...

. She is known for surviving a shark attack
Shark attack
A shark attack is an attack on a human by a shark. Every year around 60 shark attacks are reported worldwide, although death is quite unusual. Despite the relative rarity of shark attacks, the fear of sharks is a common phenomenon, having been fueled by the occasional instances of serial attacks,...

 in which she lost her left arm, and for overcoming the injury to ultimately return to professional surfing. She wrote about her experience in the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. In April 2011, the feature film Soul Surfer
Soul Surfer (film)
Soul Surfer is a 2011 American drama film about the life of surfer Bethany Hamilton. At the age of thirteen, Hamilton lost her arm to a shark attack. The film details the events surrounding this attack and her struggle during the aftermath...

was released, based on the book and additional interviews.

Surfing career

Placings in surf competitions
YearEvent and placeCountry
1997 Rell Sun Menehune: 1st place
2002 Open Women's Division of the National Scholastic Surfing Association
National Scholastic Surfing Association
The National Scholastic Surfing Association is a surfing association in the United States. It is the highest level for competitive amateur surfing in the country. Founded in 1978 by Chuck Allen, John Rothrock and Tom Gibbons, the association was formed with the purpose of uniting amateur surfers...

: 2nd place
2004 NSSA Regional Event: 5th place
2005 NSSA National Competition: 1st place
2005 O'Neill Island Girl Junior Pro tournament: 1st place
2006 NSSA National Championship: 18-and-under Finalist: 5th place
2006 Hawaii Team Highlights: 4th at Brazil event and 5th at World Games event in USA.
2007 NSSA Regionals: 5th Place
2007 Women's Pipeline Championship: 4th Place
2008 US Open of Surfing - Huntington Beach, CA: 5th Place
2008 Roxy Pro Surf Festival - Phillip Island, AUS: 3rd Place
2009 Rio Surf International in Rio de Janiero, Brazil: 3rd place
2009 Billabong ASP World Junior Championship - AUS: 2nd Place

Shark attack and recovery

On October 31, 2003, at the age of 13, Hamilton went for a morning surf along Tunnels Beach, Kauai
Kauai
Kauai or Kauai, known as Tauai in the ancient Kaua'i dialect, is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of , it is the fourth largest of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the "Garden Isle",...

 with best friend Alana Blanchard
Alana Blanchard
Alana Blanchard is an American professional surfer. At 21 years of age, Blanchard has gained fame as "one of the best female surfers," Alana is a ASP World Tour surfer, based in Kauai, Hawaii...

, and Alana's father and brother. Around 7:30 a.m., with numerous turtles in the area, she was lying on her surfboard with her left arm dangling in the water, when a 14-15 foot long tiger shark
Tiger shark
The tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, is a species of requiem shark and the only member of the genus Galeocerdo. Commonly known as sea tigers, tiger sharks are relatively large macropredators, capable of attaining a length of over . It is found in many tropical and temperate waters, and is...

 attacked her, ripping her left arm off just below the shoulder. The Blanchards helped paddle her back to shore, then Alana's father fashioned a tourniquet
Tourniquet
An emergency tourniquet is a tightly tied band applied around a body part sometimes used in an attempt to stop severe traumatic bleeding. Tourniquets are also used during venipuncture and other medical procedures. Severe bleeding means the loss of more than 1,000 ml of blood. This flow of blood...

 out of a surfboard leash and wrapped it around the stump of her arm, before rushing her to Wilcox Memorial Hospital
Wilcox Health
Wilcox Health is part of Hawaii Pacific Health's network. One of Kauai island's two hospitals, Wilcox Memorial Hospital provides Kauai residents with an imaging center, emergency room, and surgical center.-History:...

. Her father was supposed to have knee surgery that morning, but she took his place in the operating room. She then spent seven more days in recovery at the hospital.

Despite the trauma of the incident, Hamilton was determined to return to surfing and did get back into the water. Less than one month after the incident, she returned to her board and went surfing again. Initially, she adopted a custom-made board that was longer and slightly thicker, making it easier to paddle. She has observed that she has to kick a lot more to make up for the loss of her left arm. After teaching herself to surf with one arm, she again began surfing competitively. She is now back to using competitive performance short-boards.

In July 2004, Hamilton won the Best Comeback Athlete ESPY Award
Best Comeback Athlete ESPY Award
The Best Comeback Athlete ESPY Award has been presented annually since 1993 to the sportsperson, irrespective of gender, contesting a team sport professionally under the auspices of one of the four North American leagues or an individual sport on either an amateur or professional basis primarily in...

. She was also presented with a special "courage award" at the 2004 Teen Choice Awards
Teen Choice Awards
The Teen Choice Awards, are an annual awards show that air on the Fox cable channel, that honor the year's biggest biggest achievements in music, movies, sports, television, fashion and more, voted by teen viewers aged 14 through 17. Winners receive an authentic full size surfboard designed with...

.

In 2005, Hamilton took 1st place in the National Scholastic Surfing Association
National Scholastic Surfing Association
The National Scholastic Surfing Association is a surfing association in the United States. It is the highest level for competitive amateur surfing in the country. Founded in 1978 by Chuck Allen, John Rothrock and Tom Gibbons, the association was formed with the purpose of uniting amateur surfers...

 (NSSA) National Championships, a goal she had been trying to achieve since before the shark attack. In 2008, she began competing full-time on the Association of Surfing Professionals
Association of Surfing Professionals
The Association of Surfing Professionals is the governing body for professional surfers and is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best talent in a variety of progressive formats.- Predecessors to the ASP :...

 (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS). In her first competition against many of the world's best women surfers, she finished 2nd.

Media

Since the attack, she has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America
Good Morning America
Good Morning America is an American morning news and talk show that is broadcast on the ABC television network; it debuted on November 3, 1975. The weekday program airs for two hours; a third hour aired between 2007 and 2008 exclusively on ABC News Now...

, Inside Edition
Inside Edition
Inside Edition is a thirty-minute American television syndicated news program, first aired on CBS on October 9, 1988. It was originally similar to the programs Hard Copy and A Current Affair, but now more closely resembles a condensed version of breakfast television, exclusively with pre-recorded...

, The Oprah Winfrey Show
The Oprah Winfrey Show
The Oprah Winfrey Show is an American syndicated talk show hosted and produced by its namesake Oprah Winfrey. It ran nationally for 25 seasons beginning in 1986, before concluding in 2011. It is the highest-rated talk show in American television history....

, The Ellen DeGeneres Show
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
The Ellen DeGeneres Show, often shortened to Ellen, is an American television talk show hosted by comedian/actress Ellen DeGeneres. Debuting on September 8, 2003, it is produced by Telepictures and airs in syndication, including stations owned by NBC Universal. For its first five seasons, the show...

, The Today Show
The Today Show
Today is an iconic American morning news and talk show airing every morning on NBC. Debuting on January 14, 1952, it was the first of its genre on American television and in the world. The show is also the fourth-longest running American television series...

and The Tonight Show
The Tonight Show
The Tonight Show is an American late-night talk show that has aired on NBC since 1954. It is the longest currently running regularly scheduled entertainment program in the United States, and the third longest-running show on NBC, after Meet the Press and Today.The Tonight Show has been hosted by...

, as well as in magazines People
People (magazine)
In 1998, the magazine introduced a version targeted at teens called Teen People. However, on July 27, 2006, the company announced it would shut down publication of Teen People immediately. The last issue to be released was scheduled for September 2006. Subscribers to this magazine received...

, Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

and American Girl. Additionally, she was the cover story in the premier issue of niNe magazine.

In 2004, MTV Books published Hamilton's book, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board (ISBN 0-7434-9922-0), which describes her ordeal. Her story is also told in the 2007 short subject
Short subject
A short film is any film not long enough to be considered a feature film. No consensus exists as to where that boundary is drawn: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as "an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all...

 documentary film
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

, Heart of a Soul Surfer, directed by Becky Baumgartner. Described as a "faith-based documentary", the film addresses Hamilton's courage and faith in Jesus Christ in the aftermath of the shark attack, and follows her quest for spiritual meaning.
On May 16, 2010, she appeared on an episode of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is a reality television series providing home renovations for less fortunate families and community schools etc...

.

In March 2011, Bethany did a video for the Christian organization, I Am Second
I Am Second
I Am Second is an evangelical Christian multimedia movement and not-for-profit organization that is designed to inspire people to live for Jesus Christ and others...

, telling about her struggle after the shark attack and how she trusted in God to get her through it.

On April 8, 2011, a docudrama
Docudrama
In film, television programming and staged theatre, docudrama is a documentary-style genre that features dramatized re-enactments of actual historical events. As a neologism, the term is often confused with docufiction....

 feature film Soul Surfer
Soul Surfer (film)
Soul Surfer is a 2011 American drama film about the life of surfer Bethany Hamilton. At the age of thirteen, Hamilton lost her arm to a shark attack. The film details the events surrounding this attack and her struggle during the aftermath...

, based on her 2004 book, was released. Hamilton is portrayed by AnnaSophia Robb
AnnaSophia Robb
AnnaSophia Robb is an American film and television actress. She gained prominence in 2005 with starring roles in Because of Winn-Dixie and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and starred in Bridge to Terabithia , Race to Witch Mountain , and Soul Surfer .-Personal life:Robb was born in Denver,...

—with Dennis Quaid
Dennis Quaid
Dennis William Quaid is an American actor known for his comedic and dramatic roles. First gaining widespread attention in the 1980s, his career rebounded in the 1990s after he overcame an addiction to drugs and an eating disorder...

, Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt
Helen Elizabeth Hunt is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. She starred in the sitcom Mad About You for seven years, before being cast in the romantic comedy As Good as It Gets...

, Craig T. Nelson
Craig T. Nelson
Craig Theodore Nelson is an American actor. He is probably best known for his Emmy-winning roles as Hayden Fox on the TV series Coach, and as Steve Freeling in the 1982 film Poltergeist. He also starred in The Incredibles in 2004 as Mr...

, Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood
Carrie Marie Underwood is an American country singer-songwriter and actress who rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol, in 2005...

 and Kevin Sorbo
Kevin Sorbo
Kevin David Sorbo is an American actor best known for the roles of Hercules in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Captain Dylan Hunt in Andromeda and Kull in Kull the Conqueror.-Early life:...

 also starring in the film. Hamilton performs all the one-armed surfing stunts in the film.

On the Weekend of August 20, 2011, Bethany was a guest speaker at Fellowship Church
Fellowship Church
Fellowship Church is an evangelical Christian megachurch located in Grapevine, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth, that is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. FC is one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in the United States, with an estimated attendance exceeding 20,000...

 in Grapevine, Texas
Grapevine, Texas
Grapevine is a city in northeast Tarrant County, Texas, United States located within the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census the city population was 46,334. The city's moniker is derived from the native grapes prevalent in the area. In recent years several wineries have...

. A video can be seen at its website showing Pastor Ed Young interviewing Bethany. Fellowship Church saw over 25,000 people in attendance across the three services that is offered at five different campuses around the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and in Miami, Florida.

She also apppeared on the TLC series 19 Kids and Counting, episode,"Duggars Under the Sea", when the Duggars visited her, in Atlanta, Georgia.

External links

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