Soul Surfer - Bethany Hamilton's Inspiring Life Story

By June Liu on April 10, 2011

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Soul Surfer, which hit the theatres on Friday, April 8th, 2011, is the poignant tale about the  comeback of Bethany Hamilton, a teenage surfer who lost her left arm in a shark attack.

Growing up in Hawaii, Bethany lived to surf. She and her best friend Alana Blanchard, were homeschooled so they could spend more time catching waves. After placing 1st and 3rd at a surf competition, Bethany and Alana are picked up by sponsors, leading to Bethany's decision to stay home from her church’s mission trip to Mexico - A decision that changes her life forever.

On October 31st, 2003, the then 13-year old Bethany went for a morning surf to Tunnels Beach in Kauai, along with Alana, her father and brother. She was lying sideways on her surfboard with her left arm dangling in the water, when a 14ft. tiger shark attacked her and ripped her left arm off just below the shoulder. Thanks to rapid action by Alana's dad, the 13-year old is saved but now has to face life, without a limb

In the days and weeks following the accident, Bethany learns to overcome all sorts of obstacles, from tying her bathing suit to carrying the groceries. While difficult that does not seem to faze the teen - her biggest fear, is the thought of never surfing again.

The rest of the movie focuses on the determination and resilience of this young teen, as she tries to get back on the board, not just to surf, but to compete against able-bodied contestants. Her setbacks and ultimate victory is a truly inspiring thing to watch - leaving every viewer with the feeling that you can achieve just about anything if you believe in yourself and never give up.

The character of Bethany was played superbly well by Coloradonative AnnaSophia Robb, who as it turns out, had very limited surfing skills. Therefore, it was up to the real Bethany to teach her how to paddle like a pro, while taking it upon herself to perform some of the most difficult wave-riding stunts - Which, as you will agree once you see Soul Surfer, were the highlights of the movie.

If you are getting ready to see it, be sure to carry some tissues, but most of all be ready to come out inspired and ready to take on any challenge that the world will throw at you!

Resources: Soulsurfer, wikipedia.org

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976 Comments
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  • coolnicki477
    coolnicki477Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 5:22 pm
    that shark just changed her history
    • memila123
      memila123Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm
      that is so sad
      • smartbrain20
        smartbrain20Monday, July 7, 2014 at 8:17 am
        that is so sad it made me cry
        • #batmanSunday, July 6, 2014 at 8:03 pm
          i saw the movie it very inspiratinol. i think i spelled that wrong.
          • hannah norris Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 3:04 pm
            i love your stroy
            • wildchild999
              wildchild999Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 11:48 am
              That is sad
              • alexandria Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 1:46 am
                i like the movie it makes me cry when i see Bethany get hurt
                • emmaMonday, June 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm
                  you tried your best to try to surf on your own and you did you made every thing look easy for every one and were all graitful
                  • emmaMonday, June 9, 2014 at 3:46 pm
                    bethany had problums surfing with one arm she was sad but she is still surfing
                    • emmaMonday, June 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm
                      bethany,s awsome

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