Salma Hayek, who was apparently a gymnast as a child, reveals that she had her dreams of competing in the Olympic Games dashed at a young age after her father refused to let her join the Mexican national team.
The Frida star was a “very flexible, very agile little girl” and learned all about the moves in gymnastics by watching the sport on TV. She was so good that she caught the eye of Olympic trainers while enrolled at a summer gymnastics class in Mexico City in the early 1970s and was picked to represent her country in the next Summer Games – but her dad Sami pulled the plug on her athletic career before it had even begun.
The actress says, “They drafted me… to be part of the Olympic team! But I was eight or nine and my father said no because I would have had to go live in Mexico City in a boarding school for gymnasts, do six hours, eight hours a day of training, which for me was like paradise.”
Salma Hayek insists she isn’t bitter about her father’s decision because she went on to pursue another of her hobbies and ended up in Hollywood: “My father thought I wouldn’t have had a normal childhood, and he wanted me to be normal. It’s too bad that with all his efforts it didn’t work out! But anyway, it worked out for me because now I’m an actress!”
Salma Hayek is no longer athletic, joking that she was “probably traumatized” by her missed Olympics opportunity. She adds, “It’s tiring, boring, you have to smell everybody else’s sweat and even if you’re in your own house, you know, it takes a lot of effort. I like dancing, but I do work out more than before. Oh yes, after you have a baby and after you’re 40, forget it girls, enjoy it now!”