Create
Notifications

What makes Simone Biles the greatest gymnast of all time?

Simone Biles is set to take the centre stage at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Simone Biles is set to take the centre stage at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
FEATURED WRITER

Simone Biles will be raring to compete at her second Olympics when she takes the field in Tokyo. With Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps retiring from athletics and swimming respectively, Biles will be the biggest individual name to enter the Olympics.

Biles has shown the world what she is capable of with her performances in Rio. She took home three individual gold medals alongside being a part of the USA WAG team that bagged the top honors.

While Biles is undoubtedly the greatest gymnast of her current generation, can the same be said since the inception of gymnastics? Let's find out.

Also Read: 5 toughest moves in artistic gymnastics that could be performed at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Simone Biles' achievements speak of her stature

Firstly, one needs to understand that the sport of gymnastics has evolved considerably. The athletes have made the best use of technology, nutrition, and advancements in body mechanics to improve their moves.

The moves that Biles and her competitors perform are extremely difficult compared to the ones executed by the gymnasts of yesteryear. This is what makes Biles special. Not only has she been able to keep up with the pace but also set the trend.

Biles' accolades speak volumes of her capabilities. She has a staggering 15 individual gold medals to her name spread across four World Championships (2013 to 2019). Russia's Svetlena Khorkina, who has six medals of the same hue in the individual events, participated in a total of nine World Championships.

Biles remains one of only ten female gymnasts and the most recent one to have won a medal in each of the events at the World Championships. With a lot of individual specialists stepping up, the American has shown that she is a true all-rounder.

Also Read: 5 Black US athletes who can win gold medals at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Simone Biles has four eponymous moves to her name

49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships - Day Seven Simone Biles (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships - Day Seven Simone Biles (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The beauty of gymnastics is that athletes can invent new moves to mesmerize the audience, unlike other sports which have set skills to display. Biles is the creator of not one or two, but four gymnastics moves.

She debuted the Yurchenko ½-on entry, layout salto forwards with 2 twists off on the vault at the 2018 World Championships. The move is an upgrade from the traditional Cheng with an extra half-turn twist at the end.

Biles still performs the double layout salto with 1/2 twist on her floor exercise routine, which she debuted way back in 2013. The triple-double, which she debuted at the 2019 World Championships, has the highest D-score in floor exercises among both men and women.

Biles' double-double on the balance beam, debuted in the same competition, also enjoys the highest difficulty level in the apparatus. The cherry on the cake, Yurchenko double pike on vault, is the latest addition to her arsenal. Being the only woman to land it in competition, she has set the bar high for women's gymnastics.

What sets Biles apart from the rest is that she sets the trend and makes these gravity-defying moves look like a piece of cake. At the Tokyo Olympics 2020, she will be hoping to continue to do so.

Also Checkout: Tokyo Olympic 2021 Schedule

Edited by Rohit Mishra
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now