The artistic gymnast Casimir Schmidt went from being a sceptic to being a believer. Completely dedicated to his sport, he is now a member of the Dutch national team.

Casimir Schmidt used to love soccer. It was his sport. His mother, on the other hand, thought he should be doing judo. To complicate things even further, there was also Casimir’s older sister, Annabelle, who thought he should do artistic gymnastics – just like her.

So when Casimir was 4, Annabelle started to execute her master plan. In the family’s attic, she started teaching young Casimir how to do backflips and somersaults. As time went by, Casimir got better and better at the gymnastics in the attic, even though he never went to any formal training sessions. But the household wasn’t too happy with his activities on the top floor. One day, his father burst out “either you go and practice gymnastics or you stop doing this. This can’t go on!”. Casimir was still more into soccer, so that’s what he chose to do.

His interest in gymnastics hadn’t gone away though – he still went to see some of his sister’s training sessions. One day, the boys’ coach came up and asked Casimir if he wanted to try it out. Having never seen himself as a gymnast, he found to his surprise that he liked it. He dedicated himself to the sport entirely from that day on – something that can be seen in some of his numerous tattoos. Winning several major junior championships, including the Junior European vault gold in 2012, Casimir moves forward with a clear vision of where he wants to go and putting hard work into getting there. Today, Casimir is a member of the Dutch national team.