February 8, 1990 (34)
Bethany Hamilton is an American professional surfer whose life journey inspired the biographical film ‘Soul Surfer’. Renowned for her resilience and dedication, Hamilton has become a beacon of hope and an icon within the world of surfing, inspiring countless individuals around the globe with her story of survival and perseverance.
Hamilton’s triumphant story and relentless determination were featured in the 2011 film ‘Soul Surfer’, which stands as a testament to her character and courage. The biographical drama encapsulates her arduous journey after a horrifying shark attack that cost her an arm at the age of 13, and how she managed to return to professional surfing. This inspiring narrative was also detailed in the 2018 documentary, ‘Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable’, further cementing her influence and dedication within the sport and beyond.
Hamilton’s collaborations extend far beyond the surfboard and the silver screen. She has been known to work with various celebrities and personalities, including actresses AnnaSophia Robb and Helen Hunt, who portrayed Hamilton and her mother, respectively, in ‘Soul Surfer’. She has also shared the stage with influential people such as Oprah Winfrey, Nick Vujicic, Rob Machado, Mick Fanning, Laird Hamilton, Kelly Slater, and motivational speaker Joyce Meyer.
The professional surfer’s prowess and tenacity have earned her numerous titles and recognition in the field. Notably, she returned to competitive surfing and finished as a runner-up at the 2005 NSSA National Championships, an impressive feat given her circumstances. She also claimed first place at the 2014 Surf n Sea Pipeline Women’s Pro, showcasing her unyielding spirit. Furthermore, her compelling story has been recognized with an ESPY award for Best Comeback Athlete in 2004.