“Penalized for Being Kept Safe:” Simone Biles’ Decided Disadvantage at World Artistic Gymnastics Championships Leaves Americans Salty With Fig

Published 09/29/2023, 10:13 AM EDT

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Simone Biles is on fire even before the start of the Antwerp event. The official podium training of the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships seems to be a prelude of the GOAT’s performance in the event. With Biles leading the six-women team, she anticipates a personal victory in her name as well. Yurchenko Double Pike is the most arduous of all routines. However, in the male dominated athletic world, only Simone could match the difficulty level as the sole female gymnast. In 2021, Simone notched up her game with a perfect YDP landing. Owing to that, in the 2023 World Championships, she wishes to get a new element named after her.

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Along similar lines, the new name addition journey will be tough. Recently, after her return from the long hiatus, Simone had prioritized health over artistry. In some tedious maneuvers, the presence of a spotter isn’t unusual. Similarly, Simone’s YDP displays in the presence of her coach, Laurent Landi, were essential for her safety. But it costs a significant amount, and Simone-verse is not okay with it.

Disappointed fans of Simone Biles

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In 2019, the 4X Olympic gold medalist bagged the double-twisting double backflip beam dismount and double-twisting double backflip beam dismount. In 2021, she first attempted the routine and aced it. Owing to that, Simone pushed her boundaries to convince the FIG for a higher difficulty score. Settling on 6.4 for the upcoming World Championships, Biles goes on to write another history. But, left her fans salty.

Earlier today, an opinionated Kyle Shewleft took to ‘X’ to share a post of FIG, taking a stand for the gymnasts. He wrote, This is so good! Unfortunately, she will incur a -0.8 deduction if her coach stands in like this during competition. I think it’s time for @gymnastics to re-evaluate this rule. Can’t difficulty AND safety be encouraged? Simone shouldn’t be penalized for being kept safe.” It was a video featuring Simone performing her signature YDP in a bedazzled pink leotard. From just the look of it, she deserved applause. But the deduction of 0.500 infuriated fans.

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Watch this story:  Inching Closer to Simone Biles and Shilese Jones, Gymnastics’ Rising Star Unveils Her Next Steps

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According to several reports, the deduction makes no sense since precautions were necessary. Along similar lines, the 2010 World Vault champion had said, “If he doesn’t touch her, I don’t see what’s the harm in standing there.” But, reasonability doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with the FIG’ governing body. Simone also went through a valuation debate with FIG recently.

The YDP difficulty score

Simone Biles will have the highest start value in the competition if she pulls off a Yurchenko double pike vault in the global championships later this month. A representative of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) confirmed on Thursday that the vault received a difficulty value of 6.4 points. They made the decision in support of Biles and Chellsie Memmel of USA Gymnastics’s prior statements. She referred to the FIG’s assessment of her historic double-double dismount off the balance beam in 2019 as “bull****”. Moreover, she used the word since it received two-tenths less in difficulty value than she had anticipated.

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In spite of various challenges and setbacks, the 26-year-old showed unwavering spirit. She said, “they keep asking us to do more difficulty” while discouraging them with low D-scores. The GOAT will return with her finesse on September 30, in Antwerp, hoping to prove FIG wrong on the D-score.

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Written by:

Agnijeeta Majumder

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Agnijeeta Majumder is a US Sports author at Essentially Sports. Being a staunch content writer and a passionate sports enthusiast, Agnijeeta combined her love for writing and penchant for all things sports to delve into the world of the US Sports arena. Agnijeeta takes inspiration from American Track and Field star Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and brings her attention to detail to all the avenues of the Athletics realm.
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Edited by:

BHUJAYA RAY CHOWDHURY

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