Simone Biles, the hands-down favorite going into the Tokyo Olympics, has been preparing something special for her return to competition.
Simone Biles hasn’t competed since winning her fifth all-around world championship in October 2019. But that hasn’t held her back. She’s been preparing to debut a vault that no female has ever performed in competition — the Yurchenko double pike, which is a “roundoff onto the springboard, a back handspring onto the vault, and ends with a piked double backflip to the landing.”
The 24-year-old gymnast shared footage of her podium training on Friday, in preparation for the U.S. Classic, in which she successfully executed the Yurchenko double pike.
"I just got a little nervous on the landing," Biles told her coach, Laurent Landi, after nearly sticking the landing.
Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin tweeted a video of the vault from another angle, along with her admiration for Biles’ talent.
After the podium training, Biles told reporters that she feels “really good” going into Saturday’s competition, but she was “really nervous” right before executing the vault in Friday’s practice.
"I was really nervous chalking up," she said. "I was like, 'It's OK, I've done this so many times.' I've been doing it for months now. So I felt prepared and I knew I was prepared, it was just the initial landing out there in the arena."
If Simone Biles performs the Yurchenko double pike successfully in competition, it would be the fifth “Biles” skill named after her in the Women's Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points. Hopefully, she won’t be punished for pushing the limits of women’s gymnastics in competition again.
Biles will be competing in session two of Saturday’s U.S. Classic. Session one airs on Peacock beginning at 1pm ET, and session two airs on NBCSN at 7pm ET.
Biles recently ended her partnership with Nike and signed a deal with Athleta.