Simone Biles’ historic double pike has been viewed over 5 million times on Vault.
Simone Biles has made a habit of breaking the boundaries of what a female gymnast can achieve during her illustrious career.
On Saturday night, the reigning world and Olympic champion lived up to her legacy, becoming the first woman in history to perform a move so risky that no other female gymnast had even contemplated attempting it.
The 24-year-old performed a move known as the Yurchenko double pike vault in her return to competition following an 18-month layoff at the U.S. Classic in Indianapolis.
The move had been rumored to be attempted by Biles since the previous day, when a video of the 24-year-old practicing it in training surfaced on social media.
Nonetheless, seeing Biles execute the dance, which had previously been thought to be a feat reserved for men, in a competitive setting was a huge surprise. After sprinting down the runway, Biles performed a roundoff onto the springboard, a back handspring onto the vault, and two backflips in a pike position—that is, with her body folded and her legs straight—to complete the routine.
A clip of her routine that was tweeted by NBC Sports went viral almost instantly, with over five million views as of this writing.
At last night’s #USClassic,[email protected] Biles completed a Yurchenko double pike in vault.
@OnHerTurf pic.twitter.com/j07ZweTA0f @OnHerTurf pic.twitter.com/j07ZweTA0f @OnHerTurf pic.twitter.com/j07ZweTA0f @OnHerTurf pic.twitter.com/j07ZweTA0
May 23, 2021, #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics)
The Yurchenko is named after Natalia Yurchenko, a former Russian gymnast who invented the roundoff-back-handspring approach to the vault. Interestingly, Yurchenko did not attempt her namesake move in competition.
The judges docked Biles a point for jumping back a move after landing, but he still earned a 16.100. To place the number in perspective, it is higher than both of Biles’ scores from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she won four gold medals.
The American, however, wasn’t particularly impressed with the judges’ verdict.
“I feel like now we just have to get what we get because there’s no point in putting up a fight because they’re not going to reward it,” she told reporters afterward.
“So. This is a brief summary.