Sylvia Hoffman will return to the city where she was raised on Saturday for a meet-and-greet with fans -- the first time Hoffman has been back to North Texas since the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The Bowie High School grad earned bronze alongside American teammate Elana Meyers Taylor in the two-woman bobsled at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Meyers Taylor has now become the most decorated Black Winter Olympian with five medals.
NBC5 caught up with Hoffman after she landed at DFW International Airport on Friday.
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"I thought I was going to be here two to three weeks but its more like this weekend (laughs), so I’m trying just to make the best of it," Hoffman said. “When we finished in Beijing we were still in the season and then I went back to Lake Placid first. So I’m just really excited to get back.”
Hoffman’s story made even more incredible considering she has only been bobsledding a couple of years. Just a few years ago, she was discovered by U.S. Bobsledding when she competed on NBC’s Next Olympic Hopeful.
A few minutes after speaking with NBC5 at baggage claim, her brother Keith Hoffman arrived to pick her up. The two embraced in a long hug that signified how much time Sylvia has spent away from friends and family as she's trained for her Olympic dream.
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“It’s really good to see him and at least hug - hug somebody – because I need a hug sometimes," Hoffman said.
The public is invited to the meet-and-greet event on Saturday, April 16 from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 2205 W. Division Street, Suite B8 in Arlington.
Hoffman was traveling with her bronze medal in her suitcase and she plans to bring it to the event to perhaps inspire the next Olympic bobsledder from Texas.
"This is possible, you can represent your country anyway you know how," Hoffman said.
As far as the next Winter Olympics in 2026? Hoffman, 32, said she is already training for it. This time, as the driver of the bobsled, and not the brake woman.
"I can do everything that I put my mind to, so to be able to have that visual aspect – of ‘hey this is what it is like to drive a bobsled’ – I was like this is where it’s at, this is where I want to be.”