Story at a glance
- Simone Biles may become the first woman to attempt the Yurchenko double pike vault at the Olympics.
- Biles, 24, made history at the U.S. Classic in May when she became the first woman to successfully execute the Yurchenko double pike vault in competition.
- Her coach doesn’t want Biles to attempt it at the Olympics because she is recovering from an ankle injury, and he doesn’t believe the level of difficulty combined with its low point value is worth it.
As Simone Biles heads into the Tokyo Olympics, viewers and athletes alike are waiting with bated breath to see if the gymnast phenom will attempt the Yurchenko double pike vault — and her coach doesn’t necessarily want her to.
Biles, 24, made history at the U.S. Classic in May when she became the first woman to successfully execute the Yurchenko double pike vault in competition.
The Yurchenko double pike vault is a routine that has historically only been completed by men, consisting of a roundoff onto the springboard, a back handspring onto the vault and two backflips midair before landing.
Now, Biles is on the verge of making history again. If she successfully executes the move at the Olympics, where no woman has even attempted it, it would become the fifth skill named after Biles in the gymnastics Code of Points — the rulebook that breaks down the points system for competitions in the sport.
However, Biles’ coach Laurent Landi doesn’t believe that it’s worth it. Biles is recovering from an ankle injury, and with the level of difficulty of the execution combined with the vault’s low point value, Landi would prefer Biles not attempt it.
“If she really wants to do it, she’s going to have to beg me,” Landi told On Her Turf. “People seem to forget that it’s a very, very dangerous skill… Just to have glory and being [in] the Code of Points, it’s not enough.”
Biles executed the move again on Thursday during podium training, with ESPN calling it “the greatest Yurchenko double pike we’ve seen so far from her.”
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 22, 2021
Biles will make her Tokyo Olympics debut on Sunday during the women’s team qualifying competition.
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