The Persistence of Bethany Hamilton

By: Sarah Poedtke

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Bethany's Life

Bethany Hamilton's life has been filled with many events. From the time she was born to present day she has a story to share with other people.

Bethany Hamilton was born on February 8, 1990 to her parents Tom and Cheri Hamilton, and her brothers Noah and Timothy. From the years 1992 -1995, when Bethany was ages 2-5, her parents thought to surf and began her journey of faith, by accepting Jesus into her heart. In 1998, when Bethany was 8, she competed in her first surfing competition, called the Rell Sunn Menheune Surfing Championships on Oahu, Hawaii. By the age of 9 in 1999, Bethany got her first major sponsorship's from Rip Curl and Tim Carroll Surf Boards. Following those sponsorship's, in 2000-2003 at the age of 10-12, Bethany became sponsored by Angel eyeware and Gallaz Shoes, and she also began to move up in the rankings in amateur surfing competitions. She also placed high and won many of the events she competed in. At the age of 13 in July of 2003, Bethany placed second at the NSSA Championships. Following that in the same year on Halloween, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot Tiger Shark and lost her left arm. A month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water to surf with only a single arm. In the many years that have followed the attack, Bethany has won many awards, Visited Thailand with World Vision in 2005, released books in 2004 and 2005, and released her fragrances "Stoked" and "Wired to Life". In 2005 at the age of 15, Bethany won the US national under-18 surfing championships. Bethany has also released a movie entitled "Soul Surfer" , guest appeared on many shows and in movies, She married Adam Dirks in 2013 and, is expecting her son in June 2015.

Bethany Hamilton has had many big things happen to here throughout her life. Through the many experiences she has gone through, she has been accomplished and survived many things.

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Bethany Hamilton / TIMELINE on

Who is Bethany Hamilton?

Bethany Hamilton is a professional surfer who also survived a shark attack in 2003 and lost her left arm. Bethany has continuously been able to persist through the difficulties that the attack left her with and come out stronger in the end.

What Does Bethany Believe?

Bethany's ability to persist through the attack consisted of her strong belief in Jesus Christ. Bethany believes that the attack by the shark was part of God's plan for her, which is one of the most important things to her. Bethany's faith plays a huge role in her life, for example when Bethany was age 2-5 she accepted Jesus into her heart. Bethany says this about God, "As rough times come my way, like when I lost my arm to the shark, and as life throws curve balls, I take joy and I am grounded in God's promises found in His Word, the Bible."

The Attack

The attack by a 14-foot tiger shark occurred on Halloween 2003, when Bethany was surfing. Bethany's arm looks like it has been amputated just below the shoulder, because of the traumatic way the shark severed the arm, leaving her with a stub like left arm.

After The Attack

The most important part about Bethany's story, is that she was able to back out into the ocean on November 26, 2003, just a few weeks after the attack. Since the attack, Bethany has competed in many events and placed high in many, wrote a book and released a movie both entitled "Soul Surfer", won many awards because of her great perseverance, and so much more.

Bethany Hamilton said, "It was Jesus who gave me peace when the shark severed my arm. I trust in Jesus whenever I'm going through a hard time. I see all the beautiful things that have come out of my situation. I'm able to share my story with young girls who have few role models, and I can help others cope with what they have been through." Bethany Hamilton has been an inspiration to millions of people, because of her perseverance through a very tough situation.

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About Bethany Hamilton on

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The Effect of Bethany's Shark Attack

The shark attack that Bethany Hamilton went through has had many effects on her life. From the moment that it happened it would have an effect on Bethany and who she would be.

As a result of the shark attack, Bethany reentered the water just one month after the attack. Because of this, Bethany realized that she wanted to become a professional surfer. Just days after the attack, Bethany's father didn't know if she would ever surf again, because of the loss of her arm. The loss of Bethany's arm effected the way that she was able to surf, which to led her father creating a handle that could be attached to Bethany's boards to help her hold on to her board as she duck dives under waves. Brought about by the attack, Bethany said that God has a plan for her and that he loves her and that it's not something that a shark could take away from her and not what her contest results can change.

Overall, the shark attack that Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm from did have impacts on her and the way that she surfs. Bethany's strong beliefs in God and Jesus led her to believe that what happened to her was a part of God's plan for her. Bethany says. "All I can say is He gives me a really strong foundation for everything I do in life."

Information Taken from

Teen Surf Star Loses Arm in Shark Attack on

My Story on

A Bethany Hamilton article on

Bethany's Official Website

Bethany Hamilton Before and After The Attack

Bethany Hamilton before and after she was attacked by a shark is similar and different in multiple ways. The shark attack changed Bethany in her surfing and her perspective. However, it couldn't change who she was.

Bethany before and after she was attacked by a shark are similar in the way she acts and who she is. Before Bethany was attacked she had a love for surfing and was considered an up-and-coming competitor. In fact, just before she had been attacked she was runner up in the 2003 US national championships. After Bethany was attacked by the shark, she still had a positive attitude, had a love for surfing, and believed that God gave her the strength to survive.

Bethany before and after she was attacked by a shark and lost her arm, was different in the way that she would be able to surf and do other daily activities. Before Bethany was attacked, she was able to do everything that a normal person could do on her board and on land. After the shark attack, Bethany had to learn new things to do on her board and on land to makeup for the loss of her left arm.

Overall, Bethany believes that her faith in God that he has a plan for her and the shark couldn't take that away when he took her arm. Bethany has changed, but is also similar to before and after the shark attack on Halloween, 2003.

Information Taken from

Bethany's Official Website

My Story on

Bethany's Life Long Challenges

Bethany Hamilton has had many challenges in her life, but she has been able to overcome them. She has even been able to overcome the shark attack in which she lost her left arm.

Bethany's main challenge that she has faced was losing her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark in 2003. Because of the attack, Bethany had to learn to do activities with only the use of her right arm. The loss of her arm changed the way she would be able to surf, which led to her father altering her surf boards so that it would be easier for Bethany to hold on to her board while she duck dives under waves. Part of Bethany's solution to overcome her challenge, was putting her faith in God, who she believes has a plan for her in life. Since the loss of Bethany's arm and life as she Knew it to be, she has been able to get back up on her board, excel in professional surfing, win many awards because of her great perseverance through the attack, and be an inspiration to many people, just by having faced a challenge and giving it her all.

All of the challenges that Bethany has faced because of the shark attack, she has been able to overcome and come out stronger and better in the end. Therefore, her solution to the challenges she has faces is to see them as God's plan for her.

Information Taken from

Bethany's Official Website

My Story on

A Bethany Hamilton article on

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