|Born||Bethany Meilani Hamilton
February 8, 1990
Lihue, Hawaii, United States
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||140 lb (64 kg)|
|Major achievements||ESPY Award (2004)
NSSA National Helping Kids Champion (2005)
2nd place, ASP World Junior Championships (2008)
Bethany Meilani Hamilton (born February 8, 1990, Lihue, Hawaii) is an American professional surfer. She is known for surviving a shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off, 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 was released, based on the book and additional interviews. She has appeared on many television shows since the loss of her arm.
Surfing career 
|Placings in surf competitions|
|1998||Rell Sun Menehune||1st||United States|
|2002||Open Women's Division of the NSSA||1st||USA|
|2004||NSSA National Competition||5th||USA|
|2005||NSSA National Competition||1st||USA|
|2005||O'Neill Island Girl Junior Pro tournament||1st||USA|
|2006||NSSA National Championship: 18-and-under Finalist||5th||USA|
|2006||Hawaii Team Highlights||4th
|2007||Women's Pipeline Championship||4th||USA|
|2008||US Open of Surfing – Huntington Beach, California||5th||USA|
|2008||Roxy Pro Surf Festival – Phillip Island||3rd||Australia|
|2009||Rio Surf International in Rio de Janeiro||3rd||Brazil|
|2009||Billabong ASP World Junior Championship||2nd||Australia|
*4th at Brazil event, 5th at World Games event in USA
Shark attack and recovery 
On October 31, 2003, at the age of 13, Hamilton went for a morning surf along Tunnels Beach, Kauai with best friend Alana Blanchard 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 to 15 foot tiger shark attacked her, severing her left arm just below the shoulder. The Blanchards helped paddle her back to shore, then Alana's father fashioned a tourniquet out of a surfboard leash and wrapped it around the stump of her arm, before she was rushed to Wilcox Memorial Hospital. By the time she arrived there she had lost over 60% of her blood. Her father, who was scheduled to have knee surgery that morning, was already at the hospital, 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. Less than one month after the incident, she returned to her board. Initially, she adopted a custom-made board that was longer and slightly thicker than standard and had a handle for her right arm, making it easier to paddle, and she learned to kick more to make up for the loss of her left arm. After teaching herself to surf with one arm, on January 10, 2004, she entered a major competition. She now uses standard competitive performance short-boards.
Since the attack, she has been a guest on numerous television shows, including The Biggest Loser, 20/20, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show and The Tonight Show, as well as in magazines People, Time and American Girl. Additionally, she was the cover story in the premier issue of niNe magazine. In 2004, she won the ESPY Award for Best Comeback Athlete and also received the Courage Teen Choice Award.
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 documentary film, Heart of a Soul Surfer, directed by Becky Baumgartner. Described as a "faith-based documentary", the film addresses Hamilton's devout Christianity and the courage and faith in Jesus Christ in the aftermath of the shark attack, and follows her quest for spiritual meaning.
In March 2011, Hamilton did a video for the Christian organization, I Am Second, 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 feature film Soul Surfer, based on her 2004 book, was released. Hamilton is portrayed by AnnaSophia Robb—with Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Craig T. Nelson, Carrie Underwood, Lorraine Nicholson, and Kevin Sorbo also starring in the film. Hamilton performs all the one-armed surfing stunts in the film.
On October 11, 2011, she appeared on the TLC series 19 Kids and Counting, in the episode titled "Duggars Under the Sea", when the Duggar family visited her, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Personal life 
In spring 2012, Hamilton met Adam Dirks through mutual friends. They became engaged in April 2013.
- "About". Bethany's General Biography. BethanyHamilton.com. 2003. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- Clark, Mark (September 24, 2011). "Soul Surfer Interview With Bethany Hamilton!". WhatCulture!. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
- "Shark attack survivor discusses products and jewelry lines in new mag" Lanaly Cabali, The Garden Island, June 30, 2006.
- "The 2004 ESPY Awards winners". ESPN. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
- Silverman, Stephen M. (August 9, 2004). "Lindsay Lohan Top Teen Choice Awards". People. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
- "Heart of a Soul Surfer". Walking on Water. Retrieved 2007-06-08. Text "Carrie Inderwood and AnnaSophia Robb star in the Soul Surfer (the movie dedicated to Bethany Hamilton and her story)" ignored (help)
- "Heart of a Soul Surfer: The Bethany Hamilton Movie". Retrieved 2007-06-08.
- Pilkington, Maria (September 27, 2011). "Bethany Hamilton (Soul Surfer) Interview". The 405. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
- Wicks, Krista (2013-05-07). "Surfer Bethany Hamilton Engaged". Retrieved 2013-05-08.
- Official website
- CBS News interview
- Bethany Hamilton Video produced by Makers: Women Who Make America
- Bethany Hamilton and the Teeth of the Tiger