Simone Biles—a 24-year-old gymnastic powerhouse, multiple Olympic gold medalist, and advocate for fellow gymnasts and female athletes everywhere—became the first woman ever to complete the Yurchenko double pike in competition last Saturday at the U.S. Classic in Indianapolis.
The highly complex move involves a roundoff onto the springboard, a back handspring onto the vault, and two backflips in the air, all of which Biles completed with an imperfect landing.
Many people congratulated—and were generally in awe of—Biles on her historic moment, including former First Lady Michelle Obama and fellow athlete LeBron James.
When asked about all the attention her vault has gathered, Biles said: “It’s pretty crazy, but it’s also really nice to see all the support from all of the athletes all over the world.”
Following impressive floor, bar, and balance beam routines (several of which contained moves named after her), the reigning World Champion was named the all around winner of the U.S. Classic.
Biles will be competing next in the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in June, and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in July. The Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan beginning in late July, unless they are once again postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo credit: Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Natalie Frate is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in Sociology and Anthropology and SOAS, University of London with an MA in Comparative Literature. She is currently pursuing a degree in Experimental Humanities at NYU and waiting out the pandemic in her hometown, Cleveland, OH. She enjoys reading books, wearing clothes, and eating food with her friends. Follow her on Instagram @natalieroseindigo