After a two-year break, Simone Biles returned to international competition and is already creating gymnastics history. On Sunday, the 19-time world champion made history as the first female to successfully complete a Yurchenko double pike vault in an international competition.
At the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, Biles is representing Team USA. By the end of the qualifying round, she had the best overall score (58.865), according to NBC News.
The hardest jump in the women’s scoring code is the vault. It received a difficulty rating of 6.4 points prior to the final on Sunday. According to the outlet, the hardest vault from the previous year received a score of 5.6.
The maneuver entails a backflip off the vault, followed by two complete pike revolutions before landing. Now called the Biles II, it will be the fifth element bearing her name. As to NBC New York, Biles has already demonstrated the vault during the 2021 U.S. Classic.
Bile’s first international competition following the Olympics in Tokyo is the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships. The “twisties,” a mental block that causes gymnasts to lose consciousness of their bodies when in the air, had caused her to withdraw from the competition.
Biles has made it known that she places a high value on mental wellness. She claimed to have been attending treatment sessions for about two hours each week.
The gymnast not only made history by competing in Antwerp, but she also became the first female American to represent the country at six artistic world championships.