How Salma Hayek's Olympics dream ended

Salma Hayek says her dad ended her Olympic gymnastic dream. Photo / AP
Salma Hayek says her dad ended her Olympic gymnastic dream. Photo / AP

Salma Hayek's dream of competing at the Olympics was stopped by her father.

The Frida actress was a highly talented gymnast as a child and was picked by the Mexican team to represent her country but her dad Sami thwarted her ambitions by refusing to let her compete.

Salma, 45, is quoted as saying: "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."

The star was spotted by talent scouts during a gymnastics class in Mexico City in the 1970s and was touted to represent the country in the next Games, but her father declined the offer on the grounds she should have a "normal childhood".

Although she was disappointed at the time, the screen beauty doesn't hold a grudge about her father's decision because her acting dream came true when she was older.

She said: "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 - who is mum to four-year-old Valentina Paloma with her French billionaire husband Francois-Henri Pinault - insists she's no athlete these days and despises exercising, joking she is "probably traumatised" by her Olympics mishap.

She laughed: "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!"

- Bang! Showbiz

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