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Updated On: February 15, 2023
Sylvia Hoffman, a former competitive weightlifter, just won a bronze medal in the two-woman bobsled event at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Hoffman took an unorthodox path to step up on the podium this past weekend. Learn more about her incredible journey and achievements!
Sylvia Hoffman, originally from Philadelphia, was born in 1989. Hoffman grew up in Arlington, Texas, and had always excelled at sports. She was diagnosed with scoliosis in grade school and was forced to wear a back brace to help realign her spine throughout highschool. Even with the cards stacked against her, she played soccer, basketball, and volleyball in highschool.
Hoffman then went on to play basketball at the University of Louisiana Shreveport. Upon graduation, she moved to Colorado to work in computer programming and to pursue weightlifting.
While she took an indirect path to weightlifting, she still competed at a high level. Unfortunately, she suffered from injuries in 2017 which resulted in her losing any chance to make the 2020 Olympic Games. In 2018 Hoffman missed medaling in the snatch by one lift.
Her weightlifting career culminated in becoming a national medalist and a 2-time World Universiade Games competitor. Hoffman’s lifts included a 208kg total in the 69kg weight class at the 2018 senior national championships.
After realizing that weightlifting wasn’t the best option at this point for her dream of winning an Olympic medal, Hoffman ended up participating in NBC’s television series “The Next Olympic Hopeful.” She thought back to a time when she met Katie Uhlaender, a former weightlifter who turned to the sport skeleton who had suggested she try it out sometime.
Hoffman caught the attention of Team USA Bobsledding coaches on the television program and they asked her if she wanted to be a bobsledder with a teammate or alone on the skeleton. The rest is history. Since then, Hoffman has become a 5 time World Cup medalist, World Cup gold medalist 2 time National Push Champion and now an Olympic medalist after placing third in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
With Hoffman as brakeswoman and Elena Myers Taylor as the pilot, the team took the final spot on the podium for a bronze medal on February 19th, 2022.
Note: Elena Myers Taylor is now a 4-time Olympian and the most decorated African American Winter Olympian with 5 medals.
Sylvia Hoffman shows us that you can achieve your goals with hard work and dedication. It was amazing to see the former weightlifter win an Olympic medal in bobsledding! If Hoffman’s life was turned into a movie, we’d definitely love to see it.
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