Watch Erin Hamlin’s first-ever attempt at luge in Syracuse

LAKE PLACID, NY - DECEMBER 16: Erin Hamlin tries on the Team USA helmet during the Ice Ball to honor the nominees to the USA Olympic team at the Conference Center at Lake Placid on December 16, 2017 in Lake Placid, New York. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) – Remsen native Erin Hamlin is now a star on the international stage after she led Team USA in the Olympics’ opening ceremony, but her four-time Olympic career has humble beginnings.

Hamlin’s first-ever attempt at the sport happened by chance at Schiller Park in Syracuse. The USA Luge organization hosted an event to introduce young people to the sport.

NewsChannel 9’s cameras were there in August 1999 when a 12-year-old Hamlin and her brother, joined by her mom and aunt from Liverpool, went down the hill in a luge for the first time.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads her country during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads her country during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 08: Team USA flag bearer Erin Hamlin poses for a photo wearing her Polo Ralph Lauren Team USA Opening Ceremony heated parka on February 8, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. Featuring wearable technology with a seamlessly integrated heating system, the Polo Ralph Lauren Team USA Opening Ceremony white heated parka will be worn exclusively by the flag bearer. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 06: Luger Erin Hamlin of the United States trains ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Olympic Sliding Centre on February 6, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
LAKE PLACID, NY - DECEMBER 16: Erin Hamlin tries on the Team USA helmet during the Ice Ball to honor the nominees to the USA Olympic team at the Conference Center at Lake Placid on December 16, 2017 in Lake Placid, New York. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - SEPTEMBER 25: Luger Erin Hamlin poses for a portrait during the Team USA Media Summit ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games on September 25, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 12: Bronze medalist Erin Hamlin of the United States celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Women's Luge Singles on day five of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Medals Plaza on February 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads her country during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads her country during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads her country during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads her country during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads her country during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Months later, she was mailed a letter invited to begin training and competing because of her performance that summer day.

Nearly 20 years later, Hamlin is a former World Champion, has a bronze medal from the 2014 Sochi games and the honor of Team USA flag bearer in the 2018 PyeongChang games.