If you were to look up the word inspirational in the dictionary, a picture of Bethany Hamilton should definitely be inserted right next to it.
On Thursday, eleven years after losing her left arm in an infamous shark attack, Hamilton took home the win for the Surf-N-Sea Pipeline Women’s Pro. This was no small feat, as it is considered to be a major event in the world of women’s surfing.
Born and raised in Kauai, Hawaii, Hamilton, also known as the “Soul Surfer”, courageously competed against an opponent from Japan as well as two rivals from Hawaii in the final round of the event. She won by a landslide earning two scores of 7.25 and 7.75.
Hamilton has not celebrated a major victory in ten years, however, with her busy schedule, it is easy to understand the challenge. After accomplishing one of the grandest post-accident comebacks in history, the 24-year-old has experienced a whirlwind adventure of a lifetime. She has met the President, fallen in love and gotten married as well as overseen a number of kids’ surf competitions and started her own charity.
“I usually lose, so this is great,” Bethany humbly exclaimed to ASP after her inspirational win. “In my first heat, I got a little barrel, and I wasn’t even expecting it, but I always keep my eye out because you never know out here … that was a pleasant surprise.”
Pipeline takes place on Oahu’s North Shore and is highly regarded as one of the world’s most formidable and challenging of waves, making even the best of surfers look like amateurs.
Bethany is a true inspiration to us all and an incredible role model. Her win on Thursday just exemplifies her resilient spirit and humble attitude as she motivates and encourages everyone young and old worldwide.
Inspirational Shark-Attack Survivor, Bethany Hamilton, Wins Women’s Surfing Event