Simone Biles has made gymnastics history once again. On Saturday, the U.S. Olympic champion became the first woman to land a Yurchenko double pike vault in competition, and very nearly stuck the landing.
Competing at the U.S. Classic In Indianapolis, Biles pulled off the maneuver in competition after trying it out three times in warm-ups. Her practice runs stirred up hype about whether she’d land the move when she performed the vault — which she did, only taking a single hop once she hit the mat.
“You know, yesterday Simone told us that she likes to let her gymnastics speak for her. Well, the queen has definitely spoken,” the NBC Sports announcer remarked.
The trick required Biles to flip three full times in the air, from board to mat, keeping her legs perfectly extended. As the commentators note, the concern with the trick Is getting enough power to accomplish all three rotations, and Biles in fact over-rotated a bit, causing her to need to take the step back on the landing.
The pike notched a 6.6 difficulty score, and Biles herself earned a 9.5 on the execution of it. And those in the venue weren’t the only ones blown away by her ability.
Saturday’s competition marked Biles’ first since 2019, after the 2020 Olympics were postponed due to COVID concerns.
Biles won the gold in the all-around competition at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and looking to repeat that victory in Tokyo. If she succeeds, Biles will also become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic all-around gold medals since Vera Caslavska in 1964 and 1968.
Pro basketball star LeBron James shared a clip of her historic moment, tweeting “MY GOODNESS” along with some flame emojis attached.
Fellow gymnast Nastia Liukin even called Biles’ skills “insane.”
You can watch the moment Biles lands the trick in the video below.