“I Am a Target” – Simone Biles Bashes International Gymnastics Federation for Devaluing Her Skills

Published 07/15/2021, 8:21 AM EDT
Simone Biles looks down as she warms up during the final day of women’s competition in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for gymnastics in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., June 27, 2021. Picture taken June 27, 2021. Picture taken June 27, 2021. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson


There is no denying that Simone Biles is the greatest gymnast of all time. She can easily ace her routines that generally involve tough moves and that haven’t been done before. And now Biles has again fired shots at the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for devaluing her routines and skills.

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Simone Biles practices uneven bars during the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics trials in St Louis, Missouri, U.S. June 25, 2021. REUTERS/Lindsey?Wasson?

The most recent saga happened at the US Classics where again Biles was again deducted points despite the fact that she completed the Yurchenko double pike vault. That skill hasn’t been done by any women in a competition, however, Biles was given a grade that was equal to many of the easier vaults. This was done because judges felt the skill was dangerous and hence she felt that the FIG has devalued her skills so that she can be closer to the rest.

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“What can I do at this point. They’re not gonna listen, they’re a little bit older, they probably did like a layout or something in their Olympics so they don’t quite get it,” Biles said.

Simone Biles of the United States competes during the Women’s Floor Final at Rio Olympic Arena on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Simone Biles on her fight with the new directives of FIG

The first time Biles was deducted points was in the 2019 World Championships. There she performed a double-twisting, double somersault dismount off the balance beam. That is worth more than the ‘H’ the judges offered. In their reasoning, the FIG said that safety was the priority and hence they cut Biles’s point. But many on Biles’ side said that then there was no use in having points with ‘I’ and ‘J’ grade and that everybody will keep trying the same easier skills.

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“I feel like I am a target and I have been for quite some years. I’m kind of breaking boundaries. And they’re like ‘Well, wait a minute! We need to change this real quick. What can we do?. So they devalue skills. It is what it is,” Biles added.

FIG’s points system gives grades in terms of A to J, with ascending difficulties. As Biles is the best at gymnastics, she usually has skills over the level ‘H’. And hence many feel that FIG isn’t valuing her skills correctly.

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VIDEO: Allyson Felix and Simone Biles Have a Light-Hearted Moment on Instagram Live Before Tokyo Olympics 2020

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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