Bethany Hamilton Interview
In 2003, Bethany Hamilton was surfing off the coast of Hawaii when she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark. Bethany managed to swim back to shore but not before the shark ripped off her left arm. Bethany may have lost her arm, but she also gained international celebrity from the attack. Simon talked to the teenage surfer about surviving a shark attack and getting back on her surfboard.
Simon: What was the hardest thing about recovering from your injury?
Bethany Hamilton: Getting back on the surfboard after the attack was the hardest thing and I did it! After that, the hardest thing was my first competition, but I'm now ranked fourth in the world in under 18 women.
Simon: What sort of things do you miss doing since your injury?
Bethany Hamilton: I don't really miss anything. I've never had more to do. I'm traveling and meeting influential and impactful people from around the world. The only thing I miss a little is playing the ukelele.
Simon: How do you deal with all the publicity you've had since the attack?
Bethany Hamilton: Everyday I just balance life with my surfing and my friends and my new public career. When I have a public engagement - it is all about the message - believe in your dreams.
Simon: Where's your favorite surfing spot?
Bethany Hamilton: A spot called the Pine Trees in Kauai, Hawaii and The Trussles in San Clemente.
Simon: What are your favorite sports other than surfing?
Bethany Hamilton: I love playing soccer - that means a lot to me. I love the team work and the running.
Simon: Tell me about your new line of fragrances. What's that all about?
Bethany Hamilton: I wanted a scent that is what I smell every day at the beach, like the surf, coconuts and stuff. Stoked is the fragrance for girls and Wired is for boys. It's in all Claires stores and other stores around the country.
Simon: What are your future surfing plans?
Bethany Hamilton: I'd like to be surfing on the pro circuit in three years and I should be ready. I'd also like to continue to write inspirational books - my new book is a bestseller and my movie will be a popular story too. Most of all, I want to do something good for kids. Like the kids in Thailand, who were affected by the tsunami disaster, who I've been helping take back into the water.