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Woman who inspired “Soul Surfer” movie is coming to Caroline

Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 11:15 am

Bethany Hamilton, the competitive surfer who lost her arm to a 14-foot tiger shark and inspired the movie, “Soul Surfer,” is coming to Caroline County Oct. 16 to speak at the Carmel School.

She was 13 and was surfing in Hawaii when the shark attacked her on Oct. 31, 2003.

For ticket information about Bethany’s presentation, go to:

Bethany and her husband, Adam, will speak at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16. General admission is $8 per person and tickets are $5 per person for the family members discount. Additional information is available through Shannon Flater, school librarian/media specialist, at or (804) 448-3288.

The 2011 movie is a true story about Bethany who courageously overcame all odds and become a champion again, surrounded by the love of her family and her sheer determination and unwavering faith in God. She got back on the surfboard just one month after the near-fatal shark attack. “Surfer” magazine lists her among “the five greatest comebacks of all time.”

Her website, www.bethanyhamilton,com, says, “Bethany Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of faith, determination, and hope. Born into a family of surfers on February 8, 1990, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany began surfing at a young age. At the age of eight, Bethany entered her first surf competition, the Rell Sun Menehune event on Oahu, where she won both the short and long board divisions. This sparked a love for surf competition within her spirit.

“In January of 2004, Bethany made her return to surf competition; placing 5th in the Open Women’s division of that contest. With no intention of stopping, Bethany continued to enter and excel in competition. Just over a year after the attack she took 1st place in the Explorer Women’s division of the 2005 NSSA National Championships – winning her first National Title. In 2007, Bethany realized her dream and turned pro. Bethany has since participated in numerous ASP and World Tour Events with her major highlight being a second place finish in the ASP 2009 World Junior Championships.

In October 2004, Bethany shared her life story in her autobiography titled “Soul Surfer.” Seven years later, the book was made into a movie that was released theatrically in April 2011, and for home entertainment in August, 2011. Other books Bethany has written include “Devotions for the Soul Surfer,” “Rise Above,” A “Soul Surfer” Bible, “Ask Bethany,” and “Clash,” “Burned,” “Storm,” and “Crunch.”

The film features an all-star cast, including Anna Sophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Carrie Underwood and Dennis Quaid.

The movie, which had a production budget of $18 million, has grossed $47 million worldwide at the box office, and U.S. DVD sales have topped $15 million.