Back in 2003, a talented young Hawaiian surfer named Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a brutal shark attack that made worldwide headlines. Less than a month later, the 13-year-old was back on her board, after weeks of intensive physical therapy to strengthen her muscles and readjust her balance in order to still be able to surf. Her determination and spirit led to a movie about her life, Soul Surfer, in 2011.
Now, all that work and determination are paying off.
Over the weekend, Hamilton competed as a wildcard in the World Surf League’s Fiji Women’s Pro, one of the most difficult surf competitions in the world. The 26-year-old beat out the number-one ranked surfer, Tyler Wright, and six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore, before losing to the eventual winner of the competition Johanne Defay in the semi-finals. Hamilton came in third.
“Beyond stoked to finish 3rd … as the wildcard!” Hamilton tweeted after the competition. “LOVED competing & looking forward to more adventures.”
— Bethany Hamilton (@bethanyhamilton) May 31, 2016
Read the full story at The Guardian.