The 45-year-old Mexican beauty said she learned all about the moves in gymnastics by watching the sport on TV and caught the eye of Olympic trainers while at a summer gymnastics class.
"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 live in Mexico City in a boarding school for gymnasts, do eight hours a day of training, which for me was like paradise," she said.
But 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!."