Simone Biles is living up to her title as the G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time) gymnast. She made history over the weekend as the first woman in history to land a Yurchenko double pike in competition, a move usually associated with only male gymnasts.
According to CNN, the Yurchenko double pike — a high-difficulty skill historically only done by men — is a roundoff onto the springboard, followed by a back handspring onto the vaulting table, and ending with a piked double backflip into the air to landing.
Biles emerged winner during this year’s GK US Classic in Indianapolis on Saturday, with the best all-around score of 58.400. Jordan Chiles, the 20-year-old from Spring, Texas, came in second in the all-around with 57.100 points, and 17-year-old Kayla DiCello, from Boyds, Maryland, took third with 56.100.
24-year-old Biles is proud of attempting a new vault as the outcome was nothing short of amazing. “I was just thinking, ‘Do it like training. Don’t try to like overdo anything,’” she said, “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.”
The four-time Olympic gold medalist wore a white leotard with a rhinestone goat on it, which is being seen as a nod to her status as the G.O.A.T.
Team USA tweeted her history-making move with the caption, “The first woman in history to land a Yurchenko double pike in competition. Our jaws are on the floor. @Simone_Biles is still in the air.”
The first woman in history to land a Yurchenko double pike in competition.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) May 23, 2021
According to the Associated Press, Biles “started experimenting” with this maneuver after last year’s Olympics were pushed due to the pandemic, “tinker[ing] with” it just “for fun,” and “almost as a way to stave off the monotony of training.”
The US Olympic team trials will be held from June 24 to 27 in St. Louis ahead of the upcoming Olympics scheduled for late July. Many health experts who advised the games be postponed due to the pandemic still hold the view that the games should be called off for now but the Tokyo Olympics committee says it is putting measures in place to ensure the safety of all athletes.