At Athlete on Demand, we believe professional athletes have important stories to tell and can inspire others in a unique and unparalleled way. Their histories of discipline, hard work and overcoming adversity are motivating to others, regardless of the sport. Succeeding in the world of professional sports means dedicating yourself fully to your passions and goals, and it also means facing rejection and failure—and coming out on top.
Each week, Athlete on Demand highlights a professional athlete who has excelled in their field and is an example of determination and perseverance in their personal and professional life.
This week we are featuring surfer Bethany Hamilton.
Bethany Hamilton is a professional surfer from the U.S. who was the subject of the 2011 film Soul Surfer and the 2019 movie, Unstoppable. She began surfing at 8-years-old and received her first sponsorship one year later. In 2003, while she was surfing with friends, Bethany was attacked by a tiger shark and her left arm was bitten off. Surviving the attack, she was able to return to surfing and learn how to compensate for the missing limb. Her website encourages others to “turn obstacles into opportunities.”
Bethany has competed and placed in national and international surfing competitions, including WSL’s World Qualifying Series. She came in first at the Surf ‘n’ Sea Pipeline Women’s Pro in 2014, the T& C Pipeline Women’s Pro and NSSA Regionals in 2007, as well as NSSA National Competitions.