Share this article

After Being Center of Debate, Simone Biles’ Notoriously Difficult Vault Sees Major Update

Published 09/20/2023, 10:00 PM EDT

Follow Us

via Getty

After a two-year-long hiatus, gymnastics queen Simone Biles made her triumphant return to the mats in August 2023. Despite a bitter exit from the Tokyo Olympics, she clinched her eighth all-around champion title in August at the US Xfinity Gymnastics Championships. Along similar lines, Biles once again shined brightly on the mat as she clinched a total of 55.700 in all-around to make her way to the US Gymnastics World Championships team.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Though the gymnast once again made it to the top, her performances in the selection camp started with rather a bumpy ride, as she stumbled on three of the four apparatus (uneven bars, vault, floor). The one being her signature routine, Yurchenko Double Pike on the vault. However, she concluded the rotation at 14.500.

Nevertheless, while Biles had rather a bittersweet experience with her beloved YDP move in Katy, Texas, the International Gymnastics Federation came with a pleasant surprise following Biles’ winning performance.


Article continues below this ad

Simone Biles’ Yurchenko Double Pike moves closer to the difficulty score criteria

As per the NBC Sports, on 21st September, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) stated that the vault was assigned a difficulty score of 6.4 points. If Simone Biles becomes the first woman to perform a Yurchenko double pike vault at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, it will be rewarded with the highest start value in the event.

Back in 2021 at the US Classic, Biles became the only woman ever to land a perfect YDP. With just a few male gymnasts being able to brave the vault move, this mastery remains a powerful move in Biles’s basket of flawless techniques. After all, making two aerial rotations in the pike posture is not easy.


Get instantly notified of the hottest Olympics stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

The prolonged tension began earlier at the Core Hydration Classic when USA Gymnastics officials rated the vault as a 6.4 but did not yet submit it to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). In August, USA Gymnastics valued the vault at 6.4 for domestic meets, but the FIG was not bound to that number. However, the U.S. women’s technical head Chellsie Memmel confirmed earlier this week, that Yurchenko will be given a 6.4 rating by the FIG.

via Getty

That’s four tenths more than any other vault. The Produnova and Biles’ previous eponymous vault are both 6.0s, the current highest value. The most difficult vault performed at last year’s world championships was a 5.6.

The year just gets merrier for Simone Biles, who made her way through the top in the US Gymnastics World Championships team. In the two-day continental qualifier, she emerged as a supernova winning with margins with YPD in the vault alone, securing her power position. As the lead gymnast, she entered the 2023 U.S. Worlds Trials on 19th September in Katy, Texas, securing her place in the US Worlds team on Day 1 itself, per MyUSAG.

Watch this story Simone Biles’ Fanbase Welcomes Their Queen With Open Arms After Gymnast Faces Backlash for Long Hiatus

Notably, the vault was a 6.6 in the previous Code of Points (COP) and underwent the typical 0.4 devaluation in the most recent COP but due to its difficulty. Now, how does this help Biles have it as her fifth move?


Article continues below this ad

Simone Biles to en route Worlds with a mission

Even Biles has the weakest event, the uneven bars, but with her Yurchenko double pike, she can always make up most of the deficit. Just last month at the national championships, Biles scored a 15.7 for her Yurchenko double pike. Which automatically increased her stats to 59.300 overall on the first day of the Xfinity Championship. The Gymnastics committee is keeping a note of Biles’s contribution to YDP’s popularity as a pioneer in the gymnastics scene.

via Getty

For those keeping scores, she already has two-floor moves named after her (Biles and Biles 2), as well as one each for balancing beam (Biles) and vault (Biles). In the world championships happening next month, Biles might earn a fifth move bearing her name if she performs the Yurchenko double pike vault. Just one more in a long list of titles she holds, the newest ones being absolute masterpieces to watch.


Article continues below this ad

Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely



Written by:

Divya Purohit


One take at a time

Divya Purohit is a sports writer at EssentiallySports specializing her coverage in American sporting events. She recently found US Sports writing to be a niche that she enjoys and began following sports. Divya enjoys researching and creating various pieces of articles.
Show More>

Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz