Simone Biles

Simone Biles Lands Never-Before-Seen Vault in First Competition Since 2019


Defending world champion gymnast Simone Biles became the first woman in history to land a Yurchenko double pike vault in competition during her first competition since 2019.

Biles, 24, landed the move at the GK US Classic competition in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Throughout history, the Yurchenko double pike has only been done by men in competition. With the 2020 Olympics postponed, Biles had plenty of time to get the move down.

The Yurchenko double pike includes a roundoff onto the springboard, then a back handspring onto the vaulting table with a piked double backflip into landing.

Her landing wasn’t perfect — she added two extra hops on her ending — but with a glittering rhinestone goat emblazoned across her leotard, there is still no denying to her claim as the G.O.A.T.

“I was just thinking, ‘Do it like training. Don’t try to like overdo anything,’ ” she told CNN following her performance, “Because I have a tendency as soon as I raise my hand to like 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 had been teasing the move for nearly a year, only unveiling it during practice on Friday.

She successfully defended her reigning champion title with a final score of 58.400, taking the top score on both the balance beam and floor exercises. 20-year-old Jordan Chiles of Spring, Texas came in second with a score of 57.100 and 17-year-old Kayla DiCello came in third with a score of 56.100.

The competition was her first in nearly a year and a half. From June 24-27, she will attend US Olympic trials in St. Louis. The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin in July if they are not postponed or canceled — all depending on Tokyo’s pandemic management as vaccinations rise and the rate of infections slows.

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