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“I’ve had my ups and downs,” actor and martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme says in the above video. “My fair share of bumpy roads and heavy winds. That’s what made me what I am today. Now I stand here before you, what you see is a body crafted to perfection, a pair of legs engineered to defy the laws of physics… and a mind set to master the most epic of splits.”
The commercial (via Paste Magazine) begins with a close-up of Van Damme, and already you know something’s coming. Enya’s “Only Time” is revving up as JCVD speaks about standing before us with a body crafted to perfection. Slowly the camera pulls back and we begin to see that he’s standing between two moving Volvo Globetrotter trucks. And then you know. Because if you’re familiar at all with JCVD, you’re well aware that the man can turn his body into two right angles when he needs to. And in this case, the moment those two trucks begin to separate, he needs to.
If we didn’t know JCVD could still do that split at 53 years of age, we do now. And it’s almost uncomfortable to watch. Incredible.
Volvo’s video description says this was a live test set up to demonstrate the precision and directional stability of Volvo Dynamic Steering. It’s a technology that makes the new Volvo FM easier to drive. And what better way to test that than to put the star of Bloodsport in between two trucks and then drive them apart? JCVD certainly put a lot of faith in Volvo’s technology not to drop him. But let’s face it, the effect pays off.
Van Damme’s best known for his appearances in various action films, some of which are of the straight-to-video variety these days. In addition to years of martial arts training, he also has a background in ballet, which may have contributed to his limberness. Check out this great JCVD split mash-up of some of his best splits: