Simone Biles is one of the greatest athletes in the world. That is a fact, as Biles got the receipts to back it up, being that she is the most decorated gymnast (male or female) of all time, as of 2019. With 30 Olympic and World Championship gold medals, Biles has been dominating the gymnastics field for eight years – and is showing no sign of slowing down. Achieving everything that she has, the Olympic champion doesn’t rest on her laurels, constantly debuting new skills and abilities and making history in the process.
On May 23 at the U.S. Classic, her first competition since 2019, Biles performed a move that no women and few men had ever attempted in competition. Biles pulled off the Yurchenko Double Pike, one of the hardest moves for any gymnast to maneuver. According to NBC Sports, the move, called a Yurchenko double pike, consists of a round-off onto the springboard, a back handspring onto the vaulting table, and traditionally, a single flip. Biles added difficulty by including a second backflip done in a pike position. Biles became the first female gymnast in history to ever complete it.
Despite the historic feat Biles accomplished, her performance received a score of only 6.6 from the judges, to the disbelief of many. In the sport, judges rate gymnasts on a scoring system that takes into account the difficulty of the moves they perform. It has been speculated that this move has a low starting score for tactical reasons. Partly to deter other gymnasts who do not match Biles’ ability from attempting the dangerous move, and partly to ensure that Biles does not score far beyond her peers by performing challenging moves other gymnasts cannot risk.