*Simone Biles, in all of her GOATness, just stuck a landing on the vault that no female gymnast has ever managed to do during a competition. And she landed it twice.
During a practice session for Saturday’s U.S. Classic in Indianapolis, the 24-year-old USA gymnastics standout nailed the Yurchenko double pike, an insanely challenging move named after Soviet gymnast Natalia Yurchenko, who introduced the concept of a round-off back handspring entry onto the vault before performing a series of twists and flips off of it. The Yurchenko double pike that Biles nailed starts with the roundoff back handspring to the vault, then doing a double pike (2 straight-legged flips) off the vault.
In February, “60 Minutes” filmed Biles trying and failing to stick the landing several times before eventually landing on her feet. In March, Biles told Texas Monthly about her plans to execute the vault, saying she was making progress during training sessions and her confidence was growing.
“I was really nervous chalking up,” she said in today’s post-training news conference. “I was like, ‘It’s OK, I’ve done this so many times.’ I’ve been doing it for months now. So I felt prepared and I knew I was prepared, it was just the initial landing out there in the arena.”
On Saturday, Biles will compete for the first time in more than 18 months — she hasn’t been on a competition floor since winning her fifth all-around world championship in October 2019. She’s the hands-down favorite to defend her Olympic title in Tokyo this summer.
Below, watch her total slayage of perhaps the most difficult vault ever in women’s gymnastics, followed by the February segment of “60 Minutes.”
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) May 21, 2021
— Nastia Liukin (@NastiaLiukin) May 21, 2021
SIMONE BILES🔥 pic.twitter.com/HV1NQazLhE
— FloGymnastics (@FloGymnastics) May 21, 2021