Bethany Hamilton is the daughter of Thomas & Cherilyn Hamilton. She was born in Lihue, Hawaii. She has 2 brothers; Noah and Timmothy Hamilton. She is the youngest of the 3 children. Bethany's parents were surfers and she she began training at 5. At age 8 she entered her first real and big time compteition and won n both the long and short board portions. When she was just 9 years old Bethany began an extensive sponsorship with Rip Curl. She was home schooled, allowing her to spend more time on surfing . On halloween when she was 13 years old, her life changed forever.
On that Halloween day Bethany went out surfing at Tunnels Beach, Kauai with her best friend Alana Blanchard, Alana's father, and Alana's brother. This particular spot was one of their favorite places to surf. In between waves, Bethany was dangeling her left arm off of her board when a 14ft tiger shark comes and bites her arm off. Coincidentaly her dad was secduled for surdery on his knee that morning. They were about to cut open his knee when the nurse came in and told the doctor to wait and that they needed it for a shark attack victim. As soon as he heard this, Bethany's father immediatly asks who. At the time the doctor wasn't sure, but he later confirmed to her father that it was Bethany. By the time Bethany had gotten to the hospital, she had already lost 60% of the blood in her body. The doctors weren't sure of her survival and in fact expected the worse. But Bethany was a fighter, she pushed herself and it payed off for her.
Bethany had a long recovery ahead of her. Her new found "disabality" didn't stop her from doing what she loved. About a month after the attack, Bethany was back surfing. At first she had special qualities about her board that helped her, but she eventually was able to work her way back to a board that was normal. Even with this change Bethany has been back and better than ever.
Bethany is now married to Adam Dirks and has a son; Tobias Dirks. Interestingly she recently renewed her sponsorship with Rip Curl. Bethany never would have acomplished everything she has if she allowed her "disabality" to stop her and prevent her from following her dreams.
Bethany has taught me to take what ever life throws at me. She taught me to never stop believing in my dreams no matter what happens. As long as I believe in myself and have faith, I will succeed.