Simone Biles is always finding new ways to top herself!
The five-time Olympic medalist, 24, participated in the U.S. Classic on Saturday, marking the first time the gymnast has competed in over a year. During her last outing at the 2019 World Championships, Biles won her fifth all-around title.
Ahead of the competition this weekend, gymnastics fans were eager to see if Biles would attempt the Yurchenko double pike, a challenging vault the athlete has been working on since last year.
During a training session on Friday, Biles was seen practicing the move, which has never been done by a female gymnast in competition, according to The Washington Post.
And on Saturday, Biles, who had a goat (a reference to greatest of all time) rhinestoned on her leotard, landed the difficult move, earning a total score of 16.1. With the impressive feat, she officially became the first woman to complete the Yurchenko double pike in a competition.
“It was really nerve-wracking but I’m just happy to be back out here, competing on a competition floor in an arena with the girls especially after a long year and the time off we’ve had,” Biles told NBC Sports after the competition on Saturday.
About the historic vault, she said, “I was just thinking, do it like training. Don’t try to like overdo anything because I have a tendency, as soon as I raise my hand to overpower things and I did a little bit, but I was still on my feet. It’s a new vault and I’m proud of how today went even though it was a little bit rough and uncharacteristic but it was okay.”
And on the vault going viral online, Biles added: “Yeah, it is everywhere. It’s pretty crazy but it’s also nice to see all the support from all over the world.”
Before the Olympics were pushed back due to the COVID pandemic last year, Biles told PEOPLE she had no plans to perform the move in Tokyo.
“In gymnastics, almost everything has been done so when you push boundaries there is a risk factor — risk vs reward,” she said last March. “Gymnastics can be a dangerous sport so you have to be smart.”
However, recently Biles has indicated that she would attempt it after all.
“There haven’t been too many times where I was like, ‘Oh, that was really scary. Maybe we shouldn’t do that,’ ” she said during an interview with Texas Monthly in March. “It’s actually been like, ‘Wow, this is feasible, we can do this.’ “
“I feel like it might be a better bet to do it in the all-around final because you do get that one-touch warm up, rather than vault finals where you don’t,” she added. “I feel like we just have to go in and weigh the options, see what’s smart, get a feel of the vault.”