7 Celebs Who Could Have Been Olympians

The 2014 Winter Olympics are underway, and we can't help but get excited about the Latino athletes representing the United States and countries throughout Latin America. For many of us, competing at the Olympics is a pipe-dream -- something we fantasize about on our daily runs through the park. 

But, for these seven athletic celebrities, the Olympics were an achievable and realistic dream: 

1. Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek
 
As a child and teenager, Salma Hayek didn’t dream of a career in front of the camera. Instead, the Mexican actress trained rigorously each day in gymnastics. In fact, Hayek was drafted by Mexico’s national team and touted to represent the country in the next Olympic Games. Unfortunately, she declined the offer because her father wanted her to have a normal childhood. 
 
“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,” she said. Crazy!

2. Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie
 
Who knew that fashion designer and socialite Nicole Richie once had aspirations of an Olympic career? Yep, Lionel Richie’s daughter was a competitive figure skater as a child! Although she didn’t pursue a career on ice, her experience helped her cultivate skills which she uses everyday.
 
“When I was little, I used to be a competitive figure skater, and I used to design my own costumes with my father’s costume designer,” Richie told Telegraph UK. Now, Richie designs clothes professionally for her designer clothing line, House of Harlow.
 

3. julio iglesias

Julio Iglesias:
 
Julio Iglesias is renowned for his sweet and sensual love songs, but the Latin crooner once dreamed of a grittier career on the soccer field. At a young age, Iglesias showed off his fancy footwork playing for Real Madrid’s junior league. He eventually became a goalkeeper for Real’s reserve team. Tragically, when he was 19-year-old, a devastating car crash crushed his dreams of playing football ever again. According to CNN, Iglesias was bed-ridden for two years, and during that time, he learned to play guitar and found a new passion: music.

4. Christian Serratos

Christian Serratos:
 
Believe it or not, The Walking Dead star was a professional figure skater as a child! “I started skating and walking about the same,” she told The Twilight Lexicon. “Acting was another love that I picked up later.”
 
Serratos didn’t just twirl around on the ice for fun. The actress was a serious competitive figure skater...and her coaches even had Olympics plans for the Mexicana before she turned to acting!

5. dania ramirez

Dania Ramirez: 
 
The Devious Maids star was once a star volleyball player at Montclair State University, where her stellar performances placed her among the top five in career digs, digs/game, solo blocks and total blocks. After graduating, she gave up volleyball for good and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.

6. jon seda

Jon Seda:
 
Before Jon Seda skyrocketed to fame with his role in Selena, the Puerto Rican actor had a different passion: boxing. In fact, the boricua was a one-time Golden Globes walterweight...and he stumbled his way into acting after trying out to be an extra for the 1992 boxing-movie Gladiator. 
 
I thought maybe I could be in the background hitting the bag or something like that,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “And I ended up being a co-star in the film.” Seda’s original plan was to return to boxing after completing the role, but another acting opportunity presented itself. “I felt God was saying, ‘Look here’s another opportunity. I’m going to keep giving it to you, you’ve got to take it.’”

7. jlo

Jennifer Lopez:
 
Jennifer Lopez was born for success. In addition to being a talented actress, singer, and dancer, the boricua was a successful competitive athlete in high school. In addition to participating in school musicals and drama, Lopez reportedly competed in a national track championship during her time at Preston High School. According to the biography Jennifer Lopez, she was extremely athletic, and was part of the track, softball, gymnastics, and tennis teams.