Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, showed that she’s in great shape for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games, pulling off a Yurchenko double pike at the U.S. Classic in Indianapolis on Saturday. It was a huge moment, making her the first female gymnast to land the move in competition. (FYI, she also previewed it during a training session the previous day.)
Team USA shared a video clip of the moment on Twitter, writing, “Our jaws are on the floor. @SimoneBiles is still in the air.”
The first woman in history to land a Yurchenko double pike in competition.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) May 23, 2021
After her performance, Biles criticized the points system, which rates the Yurchenko double pike only just ahead of much easier vaults.
“To finally just put it out in a competition was quite nice, I know it’s not the correct value that we want, but I can still do it, so why not show off my ability and athleticism,” she said, as reported by the Independent.
She also posted about completing the move on Twitter.
I’m sorry but I can’t believe I competed a double pike on vault
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) May 25, 2021
According to The New York Times, the Yurchenko double pike is named after Russian gymnast Natalia Yurchenko, who performed a version of the move with a single flip. It’s considered so dangerous that no other woman has attempted it in competition. It involves launching yourself into a roundoff back handspring onto the vaulting table, then propelling yourself high enough to have enough time to flip twice in a pike position (that’s with your body folded and legs straight) before landing on your feet.
Biles also made history at the gymnastics world championships in Germany in 2019, with two signature moves. The first is known as the triple-double element, consisting of a double backflip with three twists. She followed that with her signature double-double dismount from the balance beam, in which she does a backflip off the beam and adds two twists. Like all her moves, Biles makes them look easy.