Tuesday, 30. September 2014
26. 05. 14. - 15:00
The dad of a strongman family in Romania is poised to head to Britain for work as his family have fallen on hard times in their homeland.
Giuliano Stroe, now aged nine, and his seven-year-old brother Claudiu hit the headlines as they trained to be the world's strongest boys in a family dubbed 'The Hercules.'
Their father, 35-year-old Iulian Stroe, was determined to make them famous and put them through a gruelling two hour regime each morning in Florence, Italy where his family lived. But his plans went awry and he was forced back to Romania. And he has now been reduced to making a living from scrap metal trading in the southern village of Icoana.
He hopes however that in the UK he will find either work or, even better, a sponsor for his boys. And if that works, then the boys and their mother will join him in the UK.
Last week his son Giuliano posted on his Facebook page that his dad was planning a move to the UK so he could work - but he didn't want him to go. "Who will take care of us?" he asked. "Alone here is sad and dangerous. Help him to get a job near to us. Thank you."
Some people posted kind replies, but others were more critical. Unfortunately Iulian says he has no choice but to go to the UK, where there is an extensive network of Romanians in place that he hopes he will help him find work and allow him to continue his sons' training regime.
The tiny muscle 'men' have been performing amazing acrobatic feats and lifting weights since they were toddlers. Giuliano has already broken two world records for 90-degree vertical pushups and another for holding on to a pole like a human flag.
Claudiu followed suit and he is already performing handstand push-ups on a bar and learning the same terrifying flag trick.
Both boys routinely lift 4kg dumbbells and heavy weights to work on their biceps and build up their chest muscles. Claudiu started training at a younger age than Giuliano and was copying his older brother at just 18-months-old.
Now he can do the splits between metal rings and can back flip along the ground.
The boys are undeniably capable of extraordinary feats - but it has been suggested that it is cruel to expect children of this age to train so hard. But both Iulian and his wife Ileana, 32, defend their training regimen for their boys.
"They have a natural ability for this, nothing is forced, it is what God intended for them," said Ileana. "My husband will go abroad to earn money, as a builder or labourer, and we will use it all for our sons."
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