When it comes to famous surfers–truly famous on the world stage–Bethany Hamilton might be the most famous of them all. Ask a non-surfer who she is, and chances are they’ll know. There aren’t too many surfers that have reached the stage outside of surfing, but Bethany’s one of them. That’s good news for the organizers of the 2017 Outerknown Fiji Women’s Pro because they just awarded her a wildcard into the event. It’s also good news for anyone that likes to watch Bethany surf because it’s mind-blowing.
Yesterday, the WSL announced that, once again, Bethany will receive the wildcard. “It was an easy decision for WSL officials, since the renowned shark attack survivor turned in an inspirational performance in 2016 that earned her a third-place finish, and a healthy number of global headlines,” they wrote.
Her performance last year was pretty staggering. After beating Tyler Wright in the second round, she went on to beat Steph Gilmore. Then, she beat a very in-form Nikki Van Dijk in the quarters before her run was stopped by Joanne Defay in the semis. Incidentally, she’d already beaten Defay in the same heat she beat Gilmore in, but it was a non-elimination round. Suffice to say that Bethany can hang with the big dogs.
“Last year was amazing, yet I know I have to focus and go into the event fresh; it is a new year and, as usual, competition will be tough,” Hamilton said in a press release. “I feel like I’m surfing better than ever, so I can’t help but be excited!”