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Bethany Hamilton Bio

Surfer Bethany Hamilton hasn't let a savage shark attack stop her from competing in her favorite sport. Check out this biography and pictures of the teen surfer who survived a shark attack.

Bethany Hamilton - From Surfer To Celebrity

On October 31, 2003, Bethany Hamilton was surfing off the coast of Hawaii when she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark, who nearly ate her for lunch. Bethany managed to swim back to shore but not before the shark ripped off her left arm. While Bethany may have lost her arm, she also gained international celebrity from the attack. More importantly, she got back on her surfboard just four months after the shark attack and placed fifth in her age group at the National Surfing Championships. Since the attack, Bethany has won three surfing contests and won the 2004 ESPY Award for Best Comeback Athlete.

Courtesy of Surfers VillageBethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton - Surfing Success

Bethany Hamilton hasn't let a savage shark attack end her dream of becoming a surfer. She says she has to kick alot harder to make up for the loss of her arm but she still loves surfing as much as ever. She's painted a special pattern on her surf board that helps ward off sharks and she no longer goes surfing during the early morning - a shark's favorite feeding time. Bethany has also used her new-found celebrity to inspire others and help charitable causes. In May 2005, she went to Thailand to help children hurt by the 2004 tsunami disaster and has appeared in anti-drug ads for the state of Hawaii.

Bethany Hamilton - Did You Know?

  • Bethany released a line of fragrances for guys and girls. Stoked is a perfume for girls while Wired is for guys. Both smells are sold in bottles shaped like surfboards.
  • A movie based on Bethany's book, Soul Surfer, started filming in the fall of 2005.
  • Bethany was given a Courage Award by Janet Jackson at the 2004 Teen Choice Awards.
  • Bethany received a Maverick Award during the Cinequest Film Festival in 2011.

Bethany Hamilton Says...

"People I don't even know come up to me. I guess they see me as a symbol of courage and inspiration. One thing hasn't changed, and that's how I feel when I'm riding a wave. It's like, here I am. I'm still here."

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