Born on February 8, 1990, to her parents Tom & Cheri Hamilton in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany Meilani Hamilton was raised in a surfing family. Being raised in this kind of family led to Bethany surfing competitively at the age of eight. Hamilton was home schooled and a member of Hanalei Surf Co. Team. Hamilton showed that she could win most of her competitions against more experienced surfers.
Hamilton had her first sponsorship at the age of nine from Rip Curl. Rip Curl is a major Australian sponsor for athletes everywhere. In May 2003, Bethany won her age group and an open division at a competition there in Hawaii. Afterward, Bethany finished second in a women’s division in the NSSA championship. On the morning of October 31, 2003, everything changed.
On that morning Bethany’s life would change forever. Bethany and her best friend Alana Blanchard went surfing with Alana’s brother and father. Alana and Bethany were out on their boards talking. Time slowly passed when suddenly Bethany was pulled up and down a few times. Bethany felt no pain, all that she could see is the water all around her had turned red. Alana, who was overcome by shock, had noticed that her friends arm was severed nearly to the shoulder.
Alana yelled for her dad and brother right away. Alana’s dad quickly made a tourniquet from his surfboard leash. Alana’s brother rushed back to the truck to call 911 while Alana and her dad carried Bethany back to the truck. The truck was locked, so he broke the window with a rock. Alana got to the truck with her dad and Bethany, but the ambulance wasn’t there yet. They quickly headed to the hospital. They sped past the ambulance and quickly stopped. The ambulance turned around and loaded up Bethany. Alana called Bethany’s mom to tell her what was happening. Bethany’s mom quickly went to the hospital.
Her dad was in the hospital getting ready to go into knee surgery when his doctor was told to move him. Bethany had to make her dad wait to have Knee surgery because she needed an operating room. Bethany went through many surgeries and had lost 60% of her blood in the attack. Bethany was released after a few days. Bethany got home to many reporters at her front door to hear her story. Bethany caught worldwide attention from her attack.
It was determined that Bethany was attacked by a 14 foot Tiger shark. Bethany was confused by her accident but vowed that she would return to surfing immediately. Hamilton resumed surfing one month after her accident. In 2004 Bethany released her auto-biography called, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. She was honored by MTV, ESPN, and the United States Sports Academy.
After everything Bethany had been through,she wanted to tell everyone how they could live a healthy lifestyle. Bethany wrote a book called Body & Soul. In this book Bethany told her life story and how she got over the many obstacles in her life. Bethany showed that no matter what your challenge in life is, you can get over it. Bethany’s book is all about teaching young girls how to live a healthy, fit, and fun lifestyle. The book also includes workouts for young girls and recipes for a healthy lifestyle. Bethany doesn’t want people to think this book is about her. She wants people to know she wants to help younger girls achieve a lifestyle that they want. Bethany doesn’t just want girls to be their best in the physical category but in the spiritual category. Spiritual health is more important then physical health says Hamilton.
Today Bethany is married to Adam Dirks. Bethany and Adam have been married since August 13, 2013. After they got married, they competed in the Amazing Race. Together they won the hearts of the fans but fell short of winning. As one, they made it look easy; they had no problem traveling because they were together.
A few years after being married they had some exciting news. Bethany was pregnant! she was very excited. They took pictures together on a long board with the caption “Baby on board.” After a few months of waiting they were to the point of finding out the gender! They really didn’t have preference on what gender they wanted. They both were happy to bring another little human being into this world.
On July 1st 2015, they welcomed an adorable little baby boy named Tobias. Tobias weighed seven pounds and nine ounces and was 21 inches tall. After giving birth, Bethany tweeted a photo of her and Adam with newborn Tobias captioned “ Blessed to welcome our son , Tobias, into the world! #astokedmomma.”
Despite the obvious difficulties, Hamilton is up for any challenge even if that means changing a diaper on a squirming baby. When Hamilton thinks about her life she sees the good things and not the bad. Even though the attack could of killed her she sees it as something that helped her to where she is now. She is a healthy woman with a husband and newborn child. Hamilton sees the bright side of everything and tends to never give up no matter what difficulties she faces. As I finish out my biography, I want you to know, Bethany never gave up after a life-threatening shark attack, so I never want you to give up no matter the challenge.