Simone Biles Proves Yet Again She Is The Greatest Gymnast Of All Time

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Simone Biles is the first female gymnast to complete the Yurchenko double pike (Credit: Agência Brasil Fotografias/ CC-BY-SA- 2.0/ Wikimedia Commons)

Simone Biles, the world's most decorated gymnast, is well-known for performing moves so tricky and unique that many have been named after her. On May 22, 2021, the 24-year-old phenom made history again by becoming the first woman to perform a Yurchenko double pike in a competition. Even more impressive, the US Classic in Indianapolis, where Biles' accomplished the feat, was the gymnast's first meet since the COVID-19 pandemic caused all events to be canceled in early 2020.

Named after Soviet gymnast Natalia Yurchenko, who introduced the skill at a competition in Moscow in 1982, the Yurchenko refers to a vault style. Gymnasts begin by completing a round-off onto the springboard and then a back handspring onto the horse or vaulting table. They then use both hands to spring into the air and perform a single backflip before sticking a vertical landing.

Over the years, athletes have added to the difficulty by completing two, or even two and a half, twists during the flip. However, only a handful of male gymnasts have dared to do what Biles did on Saturday — a round-off onto a springboard, a backward dive onto the vaulting table, and two full backflips in a difficult pike position. Though the landing was not as smooth as the gymnast would have liked, she was thrilled with her accomplishment.

"I was just thinking, 'Do it like training. Don't try to like overdo anything,'" Biles said afterward, "because I have a tendency as soon as I raise my hand to kind of overpower things, and I did a little bit, but at least I was on my feet. It's a new vault, and I'm proud of how today went."

Biles has five Olympic medals and 25 World Championship medals (Credit: Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil/CC-BY- SA-2.0 / Wikimedia Commons)

Though Biles made it look easy, the Yurchenko double pike is not for the faint of heart and can easily result in a head or neck injury if the gymnast does not rotate enough. The trick is so perilous that McKayla Maroney, who successfully performed it in practice, was forbidden to use it in competition by her coach. The now-retired gymnast, who took home the silver medal in the vault event at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, told The Washington Post, “The thing about double backs that's really dangerous is it's like once you're going for it, you're going for it."

Whether Biles attempts the heart-stopping feat again at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics — rumored to be her last — remains to be seen. However, the 24-year-old — who successfully defended her all-around title and took top billing on the balance beam and floor exercise at the US Classic — is certainly not going to need it to add to her impressive collection of five Olympic medals and 25 World Championship medals!

Resources: WashingtonPost.com, CNN.com, Twitter.com

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200 Comments
  • starlite_safire
    starlite_safireWednesday, July 14, 2021 at 11:33 am
    OMG!
    • stephany_hannah
      stephany_hannahWednesday, June 30, 2021 at 1:16 pm
      Wow! Simone can do tons of gymnastics while I can't even do a handstand for 1 second. 🤣😂
      • 20131011cc
        20131011ccMonday, July 19, 2021 at 5:54 am
        Well,I can only do it 10 second
        • ssana
          ssanaTuesday, July 13, 2021 at 5:41 am
          The best I can do is a cartwheel I can't even do a handstand for a split second
        • 6259692
          6259692Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 5:23 pm
          I am a huge fan and I do gymnastics # Simone biles I felt really bad for her and the kidney stone but I love gymnastics and I do gymnastics so that could possibly lead me to be a incredibly amazing woman and gymnast just like her #Simone biles # HOPE🙏😺
          • lilypads
            lilypadsTuesday, June 29, 2021 at 1:07 pm
            But dis is way better
            • lilypads
              lilypadsTuesday, June 29, 2021 at 1:07 pm
              All the cool tricks I can do are flips in water
              • lilypads
                lilypadsTuesday, June 29, 2021 at 1:06 pm
                Wow I can't even do the spits
                • lollipop_777
                  lollipop_777Monday, June 28, 2021 at 5:50 pm
                  I love Simone Biles! I don't even do gymnastics and she is still such a role model for any woman who wants to do anything.❤ did yall know this year the whole women's team for gymnastics in the Olympics in Tokyo is made up if African American women including Simone Biles?! I love that, it's so amazing
                  • phantasticgus
                    phantasticgusMonday, June 28, 2021 at 2:37 pm
                    Wow! She's such a great gymnast! I used to do a little bit of gymnastics, but then I switched to yoga and martial arts.
                    • drawing_girl45
                      drawing_girl45Monday, June 28, 2021 at 1:12 pm
                      I love Simone Biles! I'm a gymnast! #nevergiveupSimone #Olympics2021
                      • 6259692
                        6259692Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 5:31 pm
                        I'm a gymnast too😄
                      • bboos3000
                        bboos3000Monday, June 28, 2021 at 7:05 am
                        I never did gymnastics, but I did think about it, but, I went with swimming.