The world of gymnastics has once again been rocked by Simone Biles, an American athlete who is practically a real-life superhero. At 24, she already has a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, making her America’s most decorated gymnast.
Last Saturday at the U.S. Classic in Indianapolis, she continued to make history as she became the first woman to land a Yurchenko double pike in a competition. Check this out and be amazed:
A Yurchenko double what now?
If you're not familiar with the world of competitive gymnastics, you probably haven’t heard of the Yurchenko double pike, and why landing it is such an impressive feat.
The 'Yurchenko'—named after Russian gymnast Natalia Yurchenko, who performed a version of the move in the early 1980s—is basically a fancy way to flip off the springboard and onto the vault. Gymnasts can increase the difficulty of this move by adding twists and flips, to create their own version for a higher score.
The Yurchenko double pike is considered so difficult that no other woman has attempted it in competition. It involves propelling yourself high enough in the air to have enough time to flip twice in a pike position (your body folded and legs straight) before landing on your feet. Please do not try that at home!
It was a huge moment for the sport, as previously the move had only been performed by men. The Team USA Twitter put it perfectly: “Our jaws are on the floor. Simone Biles is still in the air”
Road to Tokyo
On top of this, even with a few minor mistakes she pulled off an all-around score of 58.400—the best of the night overall.
Her next big competitions are the U.S. Championships, the Olympic trials, and finally the Tokyo Summer Olympics, which begin July 23. So we have plenty of opportunities to be amazed by Simone’s flipping, vaulting, and jumping yet again. We’ll be watching!