HomeOutdoorsNewsSurfer Bethany Hamilton Reflects On Shark Attack That Took Her Arm Off

Surfer Bethany Hamilton Reflects On Shark Attack That Took Her Arm Off

by Brett Stayton
Bethany Hamilton
Photo by Matt Dunbar/Getty Images

Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton continues to open up about the crazy circumstances that unfolded in her life over the years. Essentially Sports recently took a deep dive into Bethany Hamilton’s story and her current outlook on life. Hamilton’s response in the years following a traumatic shark attack is an inspiration to countless people around the world. She is the personification of the very best of the human spirit. As the article explains, history is written by those who did the unthinkable against all odds. This badass one-armed surfing woman is certainly one of those people.

Hamilton was just 13 years old when she was attacked by a shark, traumatically losing her arm in the process. She didn’t let that stop her from chasing her dreams though. Even more impressively she overcame all the obstacles and achieved those dreams. Two decades later, she’s still going stronger than ever.

Despite Being Attacked By A Shark She Found Her Solace Back In The Ocean

Most people would think that after being attacked by a shark, she would stay as far away from the ocean as possible. A life-shattering experience like that would cause most people to resent sharks forever. Or scornfully feel like life had been unfair to them. The shark attack occurred back in October of 2003. It started as just a normal day on the water. Bethany Hamilton was lounging on her surfboard with her arm in the water. That’s when a 14-foot tiger shark took a big bite out of her and changed her world forever. She didn’t wallow in self-pity or let that slow her down though. Just a year later, she won the surfing national championship for her age group.

Instead of letting tragic circumstances ruin her life, Hamilton instead faced her fears with an open mind and optimistic attitude. She recently posted her thoughts about the matter on social media.

I am so honored to be able to keep bringing hope to other people. It has been so amazing to see how God has used my life in ways I never imagined! You can be a light to others in your life if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone too! Living my life so much in the public’s eye has been extremely challenging and yet very beautiful at the same time! Receiving letters from people all over the world, saying I inspired them to keep going as they faced their hardship… led me to step outside of my comfort zone to encourage and bless others”.

What Could Have Been A Roadblock Became Bethany Hamilton’s Path To Redemption

Her passion and admiration for surfing were already too strong by the time she got bitten by the shark for her to give it up. So she pushed forward with no regrets. “As much as I wanted to hide on my little island, I decided to enter into the spotlight, and I hoped that my story would continue to be a light to others”, she said. A light to others she now is, indeed. Her toughness and attitude are an inspiring example as to the obstacles people can overcome to thrive if they have the heart.

So here’s a major shoutout to Bethany Hamilton and her incredible achievements. Here’s to hoping her strength, fortitude, and optimism continue to be a guiding light for all those who lean on her for comfort and inspiration. For more, check out this short documentary:

Bethany Hamilton / YouTube