ObjectivesCompound adjectives; superlative compound adjectives
Bethany Meilani Hamilton was born on February 8, 1990,
in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii, to parents Tom and Cheri. Raised in a surfing
family, along with older brothers Noah and Tim, Hamilton learned to handle
the waves at an early age. She began competitive surfing at age 8, and by age
9 she had earned her first sponsorship.
A member of the Hanalei Surf Co. team, the home-schooled
Hamilton proved capable of beating more experienced surfers in competition.
In May 2003, she won both her age group and the open division of Hawaii's
Local Motion/Ezekiel Surf Into Summer event. Shortly afterward, she finished
second in the open women's division of the National Scholastic Surfing
Association (NSSA) National Championships at San Clemente, California.
On the morning of October 31, 2003, Hamilton went out to
surf at Tunnels Beach in Ha'ena with her best friend, Alana Blanchard, and
Blanchard's father and brother. While lying on her board, Hamilton suddenly
felt intense pressure on her left arm and was pulled back and forth for a few
seconds before the flurry passed. Initially feeling no pain, she noticed the
water around her had turned red, and her shocked friends realized that her
left arm had been severed nearly to the shoulder.
"I was holding onto my board, with my thumb,
because I probably didn't want to get pulled under. It was like pulling me
back and forth, not like pulling me underwater. Just like, you know how you
eat a piece of steak? It was kind of like that."
Blanchard's father fashioned a quick tourniquet from his
surfboard leash and led everyone to shore. Hamilton was rushed to Wilcox
Memorial Hospital, bumping her father from the operating room where he was
about to have knee surgery. Although she lost approximately 60 percent of her
blood following the attack and underwent several surgeries, she was
stabilized and released after a few days.
As the story drew national attention, it was determined
that Hamilton had been attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark. Seemingly
level-headed about the incident and the radical change to her body, she vowed
to return to surfing as soon as possible.
Hamilton resumed surfing just one month after the
attack, her determination helping to keep the story alive in the news cycle.
Her 2004 autobiography, Soul Surfer: A
True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board,
became a bestseller, and she was honored for her courage by MTV, ESPN, and
the United States Sports Academy.
Even more important, Hamilton demonstrated that the loss
of an arm was no obstacle to fulfilling her surfing goals. She won the
Explorer Women's division at the 2005 NSSA National Championships and began
competing on the pro circuit in 2007.
That year also brought the release of Heart of a Soul Surfer, a documentary
that chronicled Hamilton's return to the water after the life-altering
attack. The documentary helped inspire the creation of Soul Surfer, a 2011 movie about the event starring AnnaSophia
Robb as Hamilton.
In 2012, Hamilton began dating youth pastor Adam Dirks,
and they were married in August 2013. In 2014, they were named to the cast of
Season 25 of The Amazing Race,
delivering a strong showing before finishing in third place. Hamilton has
also appeared on such shows as Extreme
Makeover: Home Edition and The
Hamilton has sought to encourage a healthy lifestyle and
share stories of her personal faith through speaking engagements, the
nonprofit Friends of Bethany and a
large social media following. Her second book, Body, and Soul: A Girls Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life was
published in 2014, and she became involved in the creation of another
documentary, Surfs Like a Girl. She
also managed to retain her competitive edge in the water, snagging first
place at the Surf n Sea Pipeline Women’s Pro event in March 2014.
In early 2015, Hamilton announced she was pregnant and
would soon be scaling back her busy schedule. She and her husband welcomed a
son, Tobias, on June 1.
(taken and adapted from https://www.biography.com/athlete/bethany-hamilton June