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"Whoa, look at that baby me! That footage is quite old though, I can stretch much further now!" Simon Mărțișor, the Romanian rhythmic gymnast, sticks out his tongue playfully.
Simon's mother is a bodybuilder who in her youth used to be scolded a lot by almost everyone in Romania!
"I tell you what, they really got on my nerves, tell me how a woman is supposed to look! And my parents, man! I promised I wouldn't let my own child live in such a hell and would support him no matter what he's into!"
Once when Simon was five, he was sitting in the dusty attic of their wooden house. He went there a lot to look through the large collection of all kinds of stuff: books, postcards, posters, vynils, all of that stuff had pretty pictures on them to enjoy.
"I lay my fingers on the pile of postcards depicting the rhythmic gymnasts from the high-cut leotard era. My mind was completely carried away into the land of leotards and flexible poses!"
The same evening Simon's mother found him desperately trying to sit in a split, but instead of getting worried and scolding him she explained to him the very basics of physical training.
"I always feared he's becoming a book worm, sitting in that attic for hours! But I know I promised to never judge him and never wanted to push him anyway but, boy, how excited I was to see him getting a sudden interest in physical training!! He made my day! I went all over him explaining how to do it properly and promised to train him to do the split in just two weeks! What do you know? He was so into it that he got there in a mere three days! Three!"
In another three years Simon got featured on Romanian TV as the boy who could do the oversplits over 270 degrees.
"Not even gymnasts and contortionists can stretch their legs like this boy who was trained by his own fa- I mean mother," spoke the reporter as the camera zoomed out on the grinning kid hanging in a deep oversplit, his feet held one by the mom and the other by the reporter.
"Hey, that was 10 years ago," Simon smirks while reviewing all this old footage, "I can do full 360 degrees now!"
Indeed, his 18 years old body is a miracle of limberness. As a gymnast Simon favors high-cut leotards to show off his long flexible legs, bare and charming like a museum's marble masterpiece!
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