Simone Biles brings her (seemingly) unbeatable vault to the world stage

Gymnastics star Simone Biles made more history Sunday, becoming the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault at an international competition, meaning the extremely difficult vault will be named after her. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Biles landed the vault during qualifying at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, where she’s competing with Team USA in her first international meet since the Tokyo Olympics.
  • The move — the hardest vault being done in women’s gymnastics right now — will now be called the “Biles II” in the gymnastics rule book. The 26-year-old has five gymnastics elements named after her across vault, floor exercise and the balance beam.
  • The U.S. women finished in first place in the qualifying session and will aim for gold in the team final Wednesday.


Biles, a 19-time world champion and four-time Olympic champion, took a hiatus from the sport following the Tokyo Games, during which she won a team silver and a bronze on balance beam but struggled with a bout of “the twisties,” a term gymnasts use to describe a sudden loss of air awareness when performing skills that require them to twist while flipping.

She returned to the competition floor on Aug. 5 at the U.S. Classic in Hoffman Estates, Ill., her first meet since the Olympics. She won a record eighth national all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships (where she also performed the Yurchenko double pike) later that month.

“I think what success means to me is a little bit different than before because before everyone defined success for me, even if I had my own narrative that I wanted,” Biles told prior to the world championships. “So, now, it’s just showing up, being in a good head place, having fun out there, and whatever happens, happens.”

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(Photo: Matthias Hangst / Getty Images)