What is a Yurchenko double pike? Simone Biles makes history with ‘nerve-racking’ vault at US Classic

The 24-year-old gymnast is reportedly the first woman to execute the bold move in a competition


                            What is a Yurchenko double pike? Simone Biles makes history with ‘nerve-racking’ vault at US Classic
Simone Biles did the Yurchenko double pike vault while winning the all-around title in her first meet in more than 18 months (Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA: American artistic gymnast Simone Arianne Biles created history at the US Classic in Indianapolis on Saturday, May 23, when she did the Yurchenko double pike vault while winning the all-around title in her first meet in more than 18 months. The 24-year-old, who last competed at the 2019 World Championships, is reportedly the first woman to successfully execute the bold move in a competition.

To do the Yurchenko double pike vault, Biles -- who will head into the US championships June 3-6 -- ran at full speed over a short distance before doing a roundoff onto the springboard followed by a back handspring onto the vault. She then concluded it with two backflips with her legs ramrod straight and her hands seemingly magnetized to her hamstrings. “It was really nerve-racking, but I’m just happy to be back out here. I’m not really mad about today,” the four-time Olympic gymnastics champion told NBCSN, before saying: “Well, I made it, so …”

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What is a Yurchenko double pike?

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle described the vault as he said, “The Yurchenko double pike starts with a somersault with a half-turn onto a springboard, followed by a back handspring onto the diving table and two revolutions in the air in pike position, with knees straight and the body bent at the waist.”

Simone Biles warms up on the beam prior to the 2021 GK U.S. Classic gymnastics competition at the Indiana Convention Center on May 22, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana (Getty Images)

According to an article in The Washington Post, “Yurchenko” means the vault’s entry, which has been named after Natalia Yurchenko, a former Soviet artistic gymnast, who was the winner of the women's all-around gold medal in the 1980s World Championships. This style is common among gymnasts, where they do a round-off onto the springboard, then a back handspring onto the vault. And when their hands touch the vaulting table, they fly into the air and begin a single flip. That’s the flip from where variety often starts.

Internet was in awe of Biles

NBA superstar LeBron James praised Biles on Twitter by sharing the video of her and writing, “MY GOODNESS @Simone_Biles !!” A user on Twitter said, “Arguably the best athlete on the planet.” The second one asked, “Is there anything she can’t do?” “She flies so fast, can't even count the revolutions without freezing frame by frame! Best wishes to you and the whole team for a successful Olympics. Fly high and fast dear Ladies, you make us very proud!” the third added.

Simone Biles competes on the beam during the 2021 GK U.S. Classic gymnastics competition at the Indiana Convention Center on May 22, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana (Getty Images)

 



 

 



 

 



 

A person shared, “Send her to the Track and Field Olympic Trials, and let her run the 100m. She would at least hold her own for 30 - 40 meters.” Another person stated, “If that was me, I would have tripped right before that first flip and skidded until I hit my head on the bottom of the post holding up that platform.” “GOAT! 47 yrs ago I was a 12 yr old Black girl growing up in projects. Stumbled on gynmastic via middle school cheerleading. Lessons were 0.50/each. Friends & I were called every vile name you can't imagine. Fly HIGH Ms. Biles. So grateful I lived long enough to see YOU SOAR!” a proud user added.



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

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