Fact Check: Is there any Simone Biles move that is not allowed in the Olympics?

Simone Biles on Day Nine of the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 2019 (Image via Getty)
Simone Biles on Day Nine of the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 2019 (Image via Getty)

Simone Biles is arguably the best gymnast in the world at the moment. Biles is the most decorated American gymnast of all time with seven Olympic medals and is widely considered to be on par with fellow countrywoman and former artistic gymnast Shannon Miller, who also has seven Olympic medals.

Biles’ fans were in disbelief as she announced her withdrawal from the women's gymnastics team final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The young athlete bowed out of the Olympics finale citing mental health problems. Despite quitting the last Olympics, Biles remains the most rated gymnast in the world at only 25.

Although young, Biles cemented her place as a top athlete with some of the most challenging moves. Interestingly, one such difficult move sparked controversy at the Olympics as well.


Does Simone Biles have a move that is banned at the Olympics?

Simone Biles has had controversies at the Olympics in the past. The four-time Olympic artistic gymnastics champion has pushed the envelope of her sport since day one. So much so that Biles has added four elements to the sport's rule book under her name.

In 2021, Biles unveiled yet another of her surprise elements by performing a Yurchenko double pike. No other female gymnast has made the move in the past.

Biles pulled off one of the toughest gymnastic moves ever done with ease. Various reports claimed that the move was banned, as the maneuvers Biles performed were deemed “too dangerous for others to attempt.” However, this is not true. None of Biles’ moves have been banned from the Olympics.

Notably, Biles had submitted two new elements earlier during the 2019 World Championships. The ace gymnast did a triple-twisting double back on the floor exercise and a double-twisting double back off the balance beam.

The judges gave these moves a J rating and an H value (based on the A-J rating system). However, the H-valuation handed to Biles was controversial, with lesser difficult moves earning higher valuations in the past.

Simone Biles later became the first female athlete in history to perform the Yurchenko double pike in the competition. Biles easily pulled off the ultra-difficult move during a podium training session at the Tokyo Olympics. The move saw Biles launch off the vaulting table with a roundoff back handspring into two flips in a pike position.

For context, the move is so tough to execute that most gymnasts won't even practice it. Biles should have been praised for making the almost impossible move. However, she was awarded a 6.6. points by the judges for it. This soon sparked off a major controversy, with the USA Gymnastics team appealing against it.

Simone Biles came forward, laughing off the grading she received. Later in an interview, the gymnast said that there was “no point in putting up a fight” as the athletes are not rewarded right for it. However, a few noted that the judges gave Biles a low score for the Yurchenko double pike with the intention of discouraging other gymnasts from attempting it.

The move was not banned but was scored low. Thus, there is a high chance that Simone Biles’ fans may not get to see another attempt at the move.

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Edited by R. Elahi