Full Name: Bethany Meilani Hamilton
Residence: Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii
Born: February 8, 1990 (Lihue, Hawaii)
Weight: 140 lbs
Turned Pro: 2007
Husband: Adam Dirks (married on 08/18/13)
Parents: Thomas and Cherilyn Hamilton
Brothers: Noah (8 years older), Timothy (4 years older)
Bethany has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith and hope. During a surf session on Halloween morning 2003, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark, which bit off her left arm and seemed to end her career as a rising surf star. Miraculously, just one month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and just over a year later won her first National title. In 2007, Bethany realized her dream of surfing professionally and since then her story has been told in an autobiography and in the 2011 film, Soul Surfer. Bethany is involved in numerous charitable efforts, including her own foundation, Friends of Bethany, which supports shark attack survivors, traumatic amputees, and serves to inspire others through her life story. Now as a professional surfer, wife, Christian, motivational speaker, and healthy lifestyle advocate, Bethany continues to touch and inspire lives globally.
Awards & Appearances
Since losing her arm, Bethany’s story has been told in hundreds of media outlets and she has been recognized with numerous awards, public appearances, and various speaking engagements.
- 2nd place • NSSA National Championships, Open Women’s division (2003)
- Returned to surfing with only one arm (Nov 26, 2003)
- 1st place • NSSA National Championships, Explorer Women’s division (2005)
View an interactive timeline of Bethany’s life. Features some of the highlights of her life and career.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
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