Simone Biles is otherwordly with her talent.
The #BlackGirlMagic maker is currently going viral after she landed an extremely difficult gymnastics move that no female gymnast has ever landed in competition before, The Yurchenko double pike. The official Olympics account captioned the video with “we are SPEECHLESS!” and the 1.1 million people who viewed the video so far are probably also at a loss for words.
The vault is named after 1980’s Russian world champion gymnast, Natalia Yurchenko. The original stunt starts with a roundoff, followed by a back handspring onto the vault, and then ends with a pike flip. Of course, the world’s most decorated gymnast had to push the envelope even more by adding a second flip to the move’s final flourish. Back in February of 2020, she tweeted a video teasing the historic stunt for the upcoming Olympics.
The show-stopping stunt was even considered too risky for Simone to attempt. Her trainer, Laurent Landi, told 60 Minutes that it is “very, very challenging. And what’s scary is that people can get hurt… It’s a very dangerous vault.” The wrong amount of rotation could lead to a hard landing for the ankles or worse, landing on her back or neck. Good thing Biles has never been one to play it too safe in her record-breaking career.
Although it has been nearly 2 years since Biles’ last competition, the gold medal GOAT has clearly been hard at work preparing for her return. Simone told ESPN in a post-training news conference that at first, even she was skeptical of nailing a Yurchenko double pike, “we were just flipping to flip, to see what I could do… but never in a million years did I think that it would be feasible and to actually put it out on a competition floor.” It’s unclear if she plans to perform the vault when she returns to competition on the evening of May 22 at the U.S. Classic in Indianapolis, Indiana. Either way, we’ll keep our jaws ready to drop when the high-flying phenomenon defends her Olympic title this summer in Tokyo.
If anyone can get us chanting “USA!” this year, it’s Simone going for the gold!