Biles became the first woman to do the Yurchenko double pike at the world championships Sunday, meaning the vault will now be named for her. Skills in gymnastics are named for the first person who does them at a major international competition.
Biles already has four skills named for her, two on floor exercise and one each on balance beam and vault.
"It's great," coach Laurent Landi said afterward. "People I hope realize that's maybe one of the last times you're going to see a vault like that in your life from a woman gymnast. So I think it's time to appreciate it."
The crowd at the Sportspaleis certainly did, roaring when Biles landed. She gave a big smile and exchanged hand slaps with Landi before trotting down the runway for her second vault.
"She made it," Landi said. "She handled her nerves, handled the pressure. Last event, so there was fatigue and everything."
The line between success and serious injury is miniscule with the Yurchenko double pike. It has no bailout, making a gymnast likely to land on his or her neck or head if they're even the slightest bit off. It's why Biles is the only woman to do it in competition and few men even try it.
The strength needed to pull your body around twice in a piked position is immense, too. When Biles does the vault, you can see how hard she's gripping her thighs as she rotates, and her torso is taut.
Despite how difficult the vault is, Biles has so much power she needed to take a step back to control her landing. Still, she scored a 15.266, likely to be one of the highest scores of the competition, on any event.
And that's with gymnastics officials giving her a half-point deduction for having Landi stand on the mat, ready to assist if anything had gone wrong.
Nothing did, and the historic vault capped a good day for the U.S. women. They are in first place after their qualifying session and aren't likely to move from there — despite 20 more teams and eight qualifying sessions still to come. They've won the last six world team titles, each one going back to 2011, and one more would break the record they share with the Chinese men.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Simone Biles makes history with Yurchenko double pike at worlds, will have it named for her2023-10-01T17:16:15Z dg43tfdfdgfd