Simone Biles has stunned social media users after landing a Yurchenko double pike, a skill so difficult that no woman has ever pulled it off in a competition.
According to Insider, the Yurchenko double pike requires a gymnast to “complete a roundoff back-handspring entry into the vaulting table, then execute two full backward rotations with legs extended.” Ideally, they would then stick the landing.
In the video, shared by NBC Olympics, Biles can be seen in a training session for the US Classic. She successfully pulls off a Yurchenko double pike, landing on competition surface. Although the 24-year-old does not stick the landing, she is very close to doing so.
Biles has previously shared videos of her practicing the manoeuvre in a gymnasium with crash mats. This is the first time the American has been seen completing the skill in a competition venue, however.
Twitter users have reacted to the video in shock. “Simone Biles does the Yurchenko double pike in podium training,” wrote Washington Post sports writer Emily Giambalvo. “Landed on competition surface, nearly stuck. Holy cow. What a big, big moment this is. I don’t feel like that’s an exaggeration to say.”
The Gymternet posted: “Simone Biles basically just stuck the Yurchenko double pike. The height she gets on that is literally impossible. I thought it was a piked timer at first and then was like wait, no, that was a legit double back. I’m normally like “I’M SCREAMING” but with that, I’m SPEECHLESS.”
Biles is currently preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She was one of the stand-out performers at Rio 2016, finishing with gold in the vault, all-around, floor and team contests. She also placed third in the balance beam. Despite this impressive performance, Biles will still be looking to earn even more medals this summer.
Pulling off ground-breaking skills is not alien to Biles. She already has three elements named in her honour in the International Gymnastics Federation scoring system. Will we see her manage the Yurchenko double pike at Tokyo 2020?