Simone Biles lands historic vault at international competition

Simone Biles competes at Women's Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium
AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles vaulted herself into the record books again in the early stages of chasing another world championship medal.

During a qualifying round of the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, Biles completed a Yurchenko double pike vault. This is the first time any woman has landed this complex combination in an international competition. Now, Biles’ name will forever be attached to this vault in the gymnastics rule book as the “Biles II.”

What does the Biles II vault look like in action? NBC Olympics & Paralympics shared the spectacle on social media.

Want to see it from a different angle? Here’s a top view of the record-breaking vault.

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If you’re keeping track of gymnastics moves the 19-time Olympic gold medalist has named after her, this latest addition brings the count to five: two vaults (the Biles and Biles II), one balance beam dismount, and two for the floor exercise.

The International Gymnastics Federation ranked Biles’ planned vault with a difficulty score of 6.4. At last year’s world championship meet, the most challenging vault had a 5.6 difficulty ranking.

Going into the final round of competition, Biles has the top score of 58.865 after completing the qualifying rounds.

The 2023 world championships mark the first international competition for Biles since the 2020 Olympics. She stunned the world when she withdrew from the Olympic Games after experiencing “the twisties,” a form of mental unfocus and disorientation that causes gymnasts to lose track of where they are in the air while performing their skills.

AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

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Her road back to competition in Antwerp began earlier this summer when she took home first place at the U.S. Classic competition in early August. That victory put her in contention to win the U.S. gymnastics national title later that month. Biles made the record books by winning her 8th championship at that competition.

The 26-year-old has repeatedly told the media she is taking each competition one step at a time.

“I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to compete again because there were multiple times this year I where I was in the gym, and I was like, ‘I’m actually terrified of this,'” she told before the U.S. Classic meet. “The girls on the team really helped me […] and I’m like, ‘OK, you’re right. I can’t give up now because then I’ll forever be afraid of it.'”

Biles and the rest of Team USA will begin their final rounds of competition on Oct. 4 in the team and individual events. Good luck, ladies!

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Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World.

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