Bethany Hamilton

Soul Surfer

Her Story

Bethany Hamilton grew up in Hawaii and was an aspiring professional surfer. On the morning of October 31, 2003 she was attacked by a tiger shark. It took off her left arm and she lost over 60% of her blood. Because of her optimism and dedication, she was able to begin surfing just a month later. That January she placed 5th in a competition and showed everyone that she was a tough competitor.

Bethany's Faith

Bethany became a Christian when she was five years old. She had been very involved with her youth group and had a very strong belief in God. This is one of the reasons she looks at the accident as a blessing instead of a disability. She says it gives her a chance to share her faith with others. A Bible verse that really came into play during her recovery was Matthew 28:20 which says "I am with you always."

Future Plans

Bethany met her husband, Adam Dirks, through a friend in the spring of 2012. They got married August 2013 in Hawaii. Adam is a youth minister and was working with kids while they met. Bethany's future plans still are on making a name for herself in professional surfing, but says that eventually she wants to settle down and have a family in Kauai.


Hamilton, Bethany, Sheryl Berk, and Rick Bundschuh. Soul Surfer. New York; MTV, 2004. Print.

Soul Surfer. Dir. Sean McNamara. Perf. AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid. TriStar Pictures, 2011. DVD.