Simone Biles pulled off a Yurchenko double pike at the US Classic.
The notoriously dangerous skill features a roundoff back-handspring into two straight-legged flips.
The superstar Olympian is set to become the only woman to ever attempt the vault in competition.
Simone Biles is still pushing her limits five years after her breakout at the 2016 Olympics.
The 24-year-old gymnastics superstar pulled off a feat so notoriously complex and dangerous that no woman before her has ever attempted it in competition. The Yurchenko double pike, which Biles has spent months mastering in training, requires a gymnast to complete a roundoff back-handspring entry into the vaulting table, then execute two full backward rotations with legs extended before, ideally, sticking the landing.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist made it look easy at the US Classic on Friday. But despite nailing a feat many others have never dared to try, Biles appeared less than impressed with her historic effort. The camera even caught her excusing herself as having gotten “a little nervous on the landing.”
“It’s very, very challenging,” one of Biles’ coaches, Laurent Landi, said during a “60 Minutes” segment that first aired in February. “And what’s scary, it’s that people can get hurt. You do a short landing, you can hurt your ankles … it’s a very dangerous vault.”
Biles certainly didn’t need to take a risk of this magnitude to continue winning at this point in her esteemed gymnastics career. With more World Championship victories than any other athlete in the history of the sport, Biles could easily lean on the skills she’s employed in the past to cruise to victory in the final competitions of her career.
Instead, she’s once again upped the stakes heading into her swan song at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
“I think she’s opened the eyes to everybody that this can be done,” Biles’ other coach, Cecile Landi, told “60 Minutes.” “When I think a lot of people believed that a female could not do it.”
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