A Eighteen-year-old Bethany Hamilton paddles furiously into the gigantic wave. As she feels the back of the board lift, she leans forward, then quickly pushes herself up, plants her feet on her board and carefully rides the wave as it moves quickly towards the beach. All this is nothing unusual for a champion surfer, but for Bethany it is a total miracle! In 2003, Bethany had already won several competitions and had plans to become a professional surfer. Then, one sunny October morning, she was surfing with her friends on a beach near Kauai. Hawaii. Suddenly, a four-metre-long tiger shark attacked her. ripping off her arm.
Most people would have become very depressed after such a tragedy, but Bethany amazed everyone. They couldn't believe their eyes when they saw her getting back on her surfboard only three weeks after her terrifying experience. This was not easy, though. Apart from the difficulties of learning to surf with just one arm, she also had to face her fear of getting attacked by a shark again. 'It's always in my mind,' she says, 'and it always will be. but I've got to keep my mind on having fun. and just surfing.' Bethany is not only a champion surfer, but her positive attitude is also an inspiration to many. She has even been to Thailand to help children who experienced the 2004 tsunami disaster with their fear of water. Sometimes, Bethany asks herself Why me?' but then she thinks of how her experience has helped her be a better person. Bethany's motto is Me quit? Never!'
B It's five thirty in the morning and fifteen-year-old Tom Conaway is sitting perfectly still in the wetlands of California waiting for some wildlife to come into sight. Before long, thousands of birds are squawking noisily and Tom is lucky enough to be able to film them up close in their natural habitat. But what makes Tom different from any other wannabe film-maker? When Tom Conaway was only four years old. the car that he was travelling in rolled down a mountain. He was thrown out of the window and his spine was seriously bruised. Since then, his brain hasn't been able to send messages to parts of his body to tell them to move. But Tom doesn't waste any time feeling sorry for himself. I'll be in a wheelchair the rest of my life,' he says, 'but I consider myself lucky. Really. I mean. I survived a horrible accident with no brain damage at all.'
One afternoon, about two years after the accident, Tom's dad realised that filming was a hobby that the two of them could easily share. So, Doug Conaway strapped a camera to Tom's chair so that he could film his brother's football games. Now. Tom either uses a 'helmet camera' to film, or his dad sets up a camera on a tripod and Tom controls it by wireless remote control while watching the camera view on the screen of a DVD player on his knee. Tom even sees his disability as a secret power when he is filming. The fact that it's so 'easy' for him to sit still means that he can film animals without scaring them off! Tom's positive attitude is amazing. Everyone has bumps in the road that they have to deal with,' he says. That's all being in a wheelchair is for me: just a little bump in the road.'