KILGORE, Texas — One athlete with East Texas ties has the Kilgore community buzzing after claiming an Olympic bronze medal in the Winter Olympics.
Sylvia Hoffman, raised in Arlington and a former Kilgore college lady rangers basketball player was the brake-woman in the two-woman bobsled event with Elana Meyers-Taylor.
The duo went on to win bronze, with Germany clinching gold and silver.
This was Hoffman's first medal, and Meyers-Taylor's fifth Olympic medal, becoming the most decorated black winter Olympian in history.
We sat down with Hoffman to talk about that special moment.
Ashley - "Let's talk about when you both touched the ice. You knew you would medal before the end of the event, you took the lead with two German teams right after you. How was the feeling? Knowing you would at least medal in the Winter Olympics?"
Sylvia - "Even going down in our fourth heat, we knew that we would still have to keep it together. We'd still have to push fast. We still have to drive fast. We still have to make it down the hill on all four runners meaning we're still upright, you know, going down and then that's what we did. We crossed the finish line. And then once we saw the clock, it was like, there it is. There it is. We did it. Pull the brakes. It was just like the relieving feeling once I saw that and then thought alright. let's keep going. Let's keep going. And then once we finally came to a stop, it was just like, emotions, just like, you know, like, just flooded me and I was like, Oh my gosh, we did it. You know, and everyone's cheering and you know, E just like grabs me and she hugs me. She's like, you're an Olympic medalist. Now. You're an Olympic medalist."
A - "Let's talk about the journey it took you to get here. For one, what introduced you to bobsledding. How did you even get into this? I know you've played several different sports, basketball and weightlifting now you're an Olympic medalist in bobsledding."
S - I did a combine. I did really well. And they invited me out to Lake Placid. Well, I never came out because I didn't have any money. I was broke. My car wasn't going to make it. All of these excuses. I was like, You know what, this isn't gonna work."
S- "I'm going through Instagram again one day, and there's the ad for the next day. And I'm just like, I remember seeing this before. It was like a scouting camp. I said, I'm just gonna do it. So I signed up for it. I didn't realize it was somewhat of a documentary or reality show for for NBC. Then I go, I was selected to actually be in the camp. So I was like, okay, well, good thing that you did your best. So I was in the camp and the bobsled coaches were there at this time and I had the fasted push times out of women. I think I was like, only a few hundreds behind the men. So it was like, it was really good for me. So they invited me to like classes and they said, Well, hey, if you come out this time, there's rookie camp. But you can join and you know, we can see how good you are."
A - "Let's kind of go back to when you were in school, you made a trip through East Texas. You went to Kilgore College. Where you played basketball? I mean, basketball, weightlifting, now bobsled, how was Kilgore college hooping for the Rangers?"
S - "Oh, it was amazing. So one game, it was like a really breakout game for me. I think. I had someone count. And they told me I got 22 rebounds that day. We beat Trinity Valley for the first time in eight years, and I think it was a double overtime or something like that. It was a long one but we won.."
A - "Thank you so much for just talking to us. And congratulations again. Once again, I say it's an honor to be interviewing you. Based on your story, I see why they call you Superwoman. And we are so appreciative for you coming and talking to us tonight."