February 19, 2022
An Olympic rookie with Philadelphia roots is bringing home a bronze medal in the two-woman bobsled event.
On Saturday, Sylvia Hoffman got third place with her partner Elena Myers Taylor, a four-time Olympian whose fifth medal made her the most decorated African American Winter Olympian ever and the most decorated American bobsledder of all time.
Hoffman, who is also African American, handled the brakes while Taylor steered the sled, was born in Philly but moved to Texas at a young age. She still comes back to visit often and is a hardcore Eagles fan.
“Philadelphia has always been in my heart, from the moment I was born to my years today,” she told NBC10.
Appearing in the Olympics has long been a dream of Hoffman's. The 32-year-old has been a top-notch athlete for well over a decade.
"Superwoman," as some know her, played college basketball at Louisiana State University Shreveport before getting into weightlifting. Although she worked hard to get into the Olympics for that sport, she had no luck.
In 2018, Hoffman became a contestant on NBC's show "Scouting Camp: Next Olympic Hopeful," where she was discovered by the U.S. Bobsledding.
“I want people to see that whenever I compete, that this woman has ran miles, has pushed miles, just to get to where she is,” Hoffman told KXEN.
She quickly excelled in both the two-person bobsled and one-person skeleton sled events. Both see competitors flying down an icy track at speeds approaching 90 miles per hour.
Hoffman and Taylor placed behind two sets of partners on the German team, which also dominated the event in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
There are other athletes competing in this year's games who have roots in Pennsylvania.
Brian O'Neill, the forward on the U.S. men's hockey team, hails from Yardley. This is his second Olympic appearance. He's currently in his sixth season playing for Finland's Jokerit professional team, which competes in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.
Summer Britcher of Glen Rock is competing with the U.S. women's luge team in her third Olympic appearance. She broke her finger a few weeks before the Olympics, but decided to compete anyway.