Simone Biles Impresses With History-Making Gymnastics Move
Gymnast Simone Biles is unafraid to take on risky moves or... global institutions who challenge her on said moves.
The most decorated gymnast continued to make history on Saturday at the U.S. Classic when she became the first woman to perform the Yurchenko double pike in competition.
Such an impressive feat prompted fellow athlete LeBron James to comment on her performance, tweeting "MY GOODNESS" in all caps with plenty of fire emojis.
The dangerous move involves the gymnast launching off a vaulting table with a roundoff back handspring and head into two flips in a pike position. Because of the level of skill required, and the high possibility of injury, many gymnasts won't even attempt it.
Notably, the Yurchenko double pike isn't worth very many points. Despite Biles executing it perfectly, she scored a 6.6 — a number on par with far less challenging vaults — and it's likely how the International Gymnastics Federation "quietly discourages others from risking it," says the New York Times.
However, Biles and U.S. women's national team coordinator Tom Forster found that system to be unfair. They insisted that the move was underscored.
"It doesn’t seem to be consistent with what they’ve done with other vault values,” Forster told the Times, “and I don’t know why they do that.”
Biles echoed the sentiment and said she feels "like now we just have to get what we get because there’s no point in putting up a fight because they’re not going to reward it. So we just have to take it and be quiet."
While the Federation may limit Biles in her point accrual, the 24-year-old remains undeterred and plans to perform the Yurchenko double pike in competition again in the future. Upon being asked by the Times why she would do that, Biles simply said: “Because I can.”
This post is part of a series covering the talented female athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Stay up to date on their latest achievements and watch them go for gold here.