Bethany Hamilton: the Soul Surfer

by Samantha Mack

Born: February 8, 1990

Location: Kauai, Hawaii

Bethany's Background

Bethany was part of a family centered around surfing. By the age of 8, she was already competing and winning in surfing competitions. Though on October 31, 2003, at the age of 13, Bethany's entire life changed due to one event.

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The Attack

On October 31, 2003, Bethany was surfing with her friend and their family when she was attacked by a shark. The shark almost completely tore off her left arm, which resulted in more than 60% of her blood being lost as she tried to swim to shore. She was brought to a hospital where they doubted if she would ever surf again. Bethany was crushed because surfing was her passion and she didn't want to be kept from doing what she loved.


Bethany kept up hope throughout her entire recovery and did not have any complications during her hospitalization. Miraculously, she was able to get back to surfing in less than a month. When Bethany was asked how she could go surfing after an event like this, she responded, "My passion for surfing was more than my fear of sharks."

Constant Growth

After the attack, Bethany went on to continue winning in surfing competitions, write books, have a movie created about her experience, win awards, start a website, get married, have a child, star on season twenty five of The Amazing Race, and much more. She continues to inspire tons of people by her ability to overcome the impossible. As Bethany explains, "Courage doesn't mean you don't get afraid. Courage means you don't let fear stop you."

Body and Soul by Bethany Hamilton (Official Trailer)

Works Cited

"ABOUT BETHANY HAMILTON." Bethany Hamilton. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

"Bethany Hamilton Is One of the Most Inspirational Athletes in the World. Her Life Story and Famous Quotations Have Been Motivating Several Generations." The Inspirational Quotes by Bethany Hamilton. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. A&E Networks Television. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.