Simone Biles details preparations behind performing Yurchenko double pike in the latest episode of Simone vs Herself

Simone Biles lands the Yurchenko double pike while competing on the vault during the 2021 U.S. Classic gymnastics competition at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Simone Biles lands the Yurchenko double pike while competing on the vault during the 2021 U.S. Classic gymnastics competition at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Simone Biles etched her name in the history books when she became the first female gymnast to perform the Yurchenko double pike at the 2021 U.S. Classic in Indianapolis last month. The move helped her win the gold medal in the all-around event.

In the second episode of 'Simone vs Herself', a Facebook Watch original series, released on Tuesday, the five-time Olympic medallist detailed the preparations behind performing the gravity-defying move. As the Tokyo Olympics got postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it allowed Simone Biles to focus even more on certain attributes.

"Given an extra year to train, we've been able to work on a couple of more upgrades. On the vault, we are planning to do the Yurchenko double pike. It's a roundoff back handspring entry onto the table and then from there, you will do a double salto in a pike position," Biles begins.

Despite the dangers associated with it, the Yurchenko double pike enjoys a starting difficulty of only 6.6. Simone Biles and her coaching team expect FIG to upgrade its difficulty rating before the Tokyo Olympics commence.

"We also have all of our notes in order just in case they want to come back and say, 'Hey this is the value we are going to give it and these are the reasons why.' We already have our agenda of the things we might say back," Biles further adds.

Also Read: What is the Yurchenko double pike? And why Simone Biles may not perform it at the Tokyo Olympics?


"Every time I stand on the runway, I pray" - Simone Biles on performing the Yurchenko double pike

Simone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the Senior Women's competition of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Simone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the Senior Women's competition of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Even though Biles has four eponymous moves in her arsenal, she still has butterflies in her stomach every time she gets on the runway to perform the Yurchenko double pike.

"The scariest thing for me off the table is making sure I've got a good grip on my legs. Because if I don't, then I can slip and that's where the mistake usually happens. Usually, when you do a new skill, you are scared a couple of times and then, you get used to it. But every time I stand on the runway (for Yurchenko double pike), I pray," Biles continues.

Biles explains performing the Yurchenko double pike on the vault as an out-of-body experience.

"I almost feel like I have an out-of-body experience because I am like I don't know who that is and how she does that. But then, it's actually me doing it. And then that's strange too. I have always thrived off fear. I always feel like you should be a little bit scared because I think that it keeps the fun and joy in it," Biles concludes.

Simone Biles has a total of 30 medals in events combining the Olympics and the World Championships. She has to win four medals in Tokyo to become the most decorated gymnast of all time. It remains to be seen if she can accomplish this huge milestone.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande