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Simone Biles Achieves Historic Feat with Yurchenko Double Pike Vault With Jump To Be Named After Her

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Simone Biles performs historic Yurchenko double pike vault – with jump to be named after her.

All-round qualifying for the World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp was Biles’ first appearance at a major tournament since she stepped away from the sport having pulled out of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.

Monday 2 October 2023 13:51, UK.

Historic Vault

US gymnast Simone Biles became the first woman to land a Yurchenko double pike vault when she competed internationally for the first time in two years on Sunday.

Biles, 26, secured first place at the all-around qualifying for the World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp after landing the vault.

She scored 15.266 for landing the position and 58.865 overall.

Yurchenko vaults involve landing on the horse or vaulting platform facing forwards and the double pike is regarded as the most difficult of the manoeuvres.

The vault will now be named Biles II after a different original jump was named after her in 2018.

It was Biles’ first appearance at a major event since she stepped away from the sport having pulled out of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.

Mental Health and Return

She said at the time: “I have to focus on my mental health.”

“I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now… we have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.”

“I don’t trust myself as much anymore… maybe it’s getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world.”

“We are not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.”

Biles will attempt to win her sixth world all-round title at the Championships on Friday.

She returned to the sport in August, gaining a spot on the podium at the US Championships in Chicago.

Advocacy and Inspiration

Late last month she stepped in when a young black female gymnast was passed over for a medal at a ceremony in Ireland.

After the clip of the ceremony went viral, Biles said the incident “broke her heart” and Gymnastics Ireland apologised.

The 26-year-old said she had reached out to the young girl and tweeted that there is “no room for racism in any sport or at all.”

Gymnastics Ireland said in its statement: “What happened on the day should not have happened and for that we are deeply sorry.”


What is a Yurchenko double pike vault?

The Yurchenko double pike vault is a gymnastics move that involves a roundoff onto the springboard, back handspring onto the vault, and then performing a double pike somersault before landing. It is known for its high difficulty level.

Why will the vault be named Biles II?

The vault will be named Biles II to honor Simone Biles as the first woman to successfully perform this vault in international competition. This follows a tradition in gymnastics where groundbreaking moves are named after the gymnasts who first perform them successfully at major competitions.

How does Simone Biles view the importance of mental health in sports?

Simone Biles emphasizes the importance of mental health in sports, advocating for athletes to prioritize their mental well-being alongside their physical health. She has openly discussed her own struggles to highlight the need for mental health care and awareness in the athletic community.

What actions did Simone Biles take against racism in sports?

Simone Biles took a public stand against racism in sports after a young black gymnast was unfairly treated at a competition in Ireland. She used her platform to address the issue, reaching out to the affected gymnast and advocating for inclusivity and fairness in gymnastics.

What does Simone Biles’ return to gymnastics signify?

Simone Biles’ return to gymnastics signifies resilience and determination. After taking a break to focus on her mental health, her comeback highlights her commitment to her sport and her ability to overcome challenges. It also serves as an inspiration to athletes facing similar struggles.

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