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INTERVIEW: Bethany Hamilton


Bethany Hamilton

NAME: Bethany Hamilton
Age: 14 – February 8, 1991
Sign: Aquarius (water sign – fitting, doncha think?)
Motto: "Me quit? Never!"

Unfortunate Claim to Fame: Having had her arm bitten off by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing near her home on Kauai, Hawaii on Halloween morning, 2003!

Comeback Kid: Throughout her terrifying ordeal, Bethany served as an inspiration to kids (both handicapped and not) by keeping her spirits high and refusing to become depressed about what had happened to her.

Keeping Busy: These days, in addition to surfing, the 14-year-old sophomore keeps busy by designing perfumes (her new fragrances "Stoked" for girls and "Wired" for boys hit shelves in March – they're available in major department stores.) and by helping raise money for the tsunami victims in southeast Asia.

From Bookshelves to Big Screen: Bethany's top-selling book "Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board" about how she overcame adversity and continues to follow her dreams, is being made in to a movie!

Belle of the Ball: Because she's such an all-around great kid and overwhelming inspiration, Bethany has received numerous awards including a 2004 ESPY for "Best Comeback Athlete" and "Special Courage" trophy at the Teen Choice Awards (presented to her by Janet Jackson!)

Meanwhile, Back at the Beach: Mere months after the shark attack, Bethany shocked surfing fans the world over by taking 5th at the 2004 National Scholastic Surfing Association Nationals Championships! Then, last September she won the Open Women's Division of the NSSA's Hawaiian conference season opener and has since secured a spot on USA's National Surfing Team!

Stay tuned – we for sure have not heard the last of this little engine that could.

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