Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Surfer Bethany Hamilton is 'Unstoppable' in newly released documentary

A new documentary produced by Entertainment Studios titled “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable” is making waves across the country since its release on Friday.

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The 90-minute film gives viewers a glimpse into the astonishing life of one of the best surfers in the world. But Hamilton, now 29, is best known for the terror she faced on Halloween in 2003, when she was only 13, and then how she responded.

Hamilton and some friends were out for a morning surf along Tunnels Beach in Kauai, Hawaii, when a 14-foot-long tiger shark attacked her. She was rushed to the hospital, but not in time to save her left arm. However, within only a month of the attack, the Hawaii native was back on her board and more determined than ever to become the best surfer she could be.

An unabashed Christian, Hamilton’s story of faith and resolve in the face of such immense adversity has inspired believers and non-believers alike for years. Hamilton originally wrote an autobiography titled “Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board” in 2004. Then in 2011, a movie titled “Soul Surfer” based on Hamilton’s story was released. But “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable” is the most intimate look yet into Hamilton’s real life, with all its struggles and successes.

“My new film, ‘Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable,’ is so special to me and here’s why: God gave me a story that so many people can find hope in, in their own life,” Hamilton told The Christian Post. “We all have unexpected twists and turns in life. We all have circumstances that come out of nowhere and throw a wrench in our plans. Yet it is possible to overcome them and to value the beautiful things in life. And not only that, but thrive and accomplish more than we or anyone else thought possible.”

The new documentary begins before the shark attack, and continues on through Hamilton’s impressive surfing career and life as a wife and mother. She and her husband, Adam, now have two boys: Tobias and Wesley.

Aaron Lieber, the documentary’s director, was struck by Hamilton’s steadfast trust in her Savior. In fact, her faith was so resolute it made the making of the film even harder.

“I guess a challenge from a story perspective is that Bethany didn’t waver in her faith,” Lieber told The Christian Post. “She felt a certain way before the attack and she felt the same way after. So from a story perspective, you don’t have a crisis (of) faith. That actually made it a little challenging to figure out how to incorporate it in a story.”

With “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable,” the star surfer has injected her latest dose of motivation into the American psyche. She added more layers to her story this time, but Christ always was and still is the center of it all.

“My faith in God was a huge source of comfort in my life through all the ups and downs and challenges,” Hamilton told The Christian Post. “I always knew God was there, and His faithfulness was steadfast no matter what I felt or what I was going through or how painful things were.”

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