Bethany Hamilton 1

Bethany Hamilton – Soul Surfer Has Heart The Size of the Ocean

Bethany Hamilton was a 13 year home schooled girl who loved to surf and dreamed of becoming a pro surfer. One day, on a local surfing trip with her friends, she was attacked by a shark and tragically lost one of her of arms.

Just one month after this incident, with her goals still in mind, she returned to surfing! She had to re-learn how to surf with one arm. Despite many challenges, she kept her dream alive and kept on trying.  Amazingly, she not only learned how to surf again, but became an even better surfer than before her accident!

Even more incredible, she went on to win several pro surfing championships! Now, Bethany is focused on giving back and inspiring others to follow their dreams no matter what their obstacles may be. Her amazing journey is told in the movie Soul Surfer. Bethany’s story has inspired millions of people around the world. Below are two videos that tell her story:

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • What caused Bethany to hold onto her dream and continue with surfing despite the obstacles she faced?
  • How do you think the attitude of Bethany’s family has helped her achieve success?
  • Have you ever faced a difficult obstacle that you thought you could not overcome?  What did you do?

Take Action:

  • Visit Bethany’s website to learn more about her inspirational story and to get involved in the cause she stands for.
  • Visit the Athletes with Disabilities Network website to learn about other disabled athletes and how you can help support them.

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
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