These 5 Gymnasts Landed Record-Breaking Skills in 2019 and Now Have Moves Bearing Their Names
What if you were etched into a sport's rulebooks forever? As an elite gymnast, you can only get a skill named after you in the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Code of Points if you land it successfully at an Olympic or Youth Olympic Games or at an official World Championship event. Additionally, you have to be the first gymnast to land that move in one of those major competitions, and the skill must be scored at least a C-level difficulty value (the lowest value a move can receive is an A, or one-tenth of a point). And, if there's one person who knows all about leaving her mark on gymnastics, it's Simone Biles.
The 22-year-old powerhouse has four Olympic gold medals (and, most likely, counting) under her belt, as well as iconic accolades like most decorated gymnast in World Championship history. She also had two skills bearing her name leading up to Worlds this year. They're both named The Biles. Then, after her record-breaking performances at that competition, she guaranteed that two more moves will be named after her in the Code of Points. You can watch all of those here.
But, Simone wasn't alone. Four other gymnasts will now find gymnastics skills in the Code of Points under their name once the rulebooks are updated, according to FIG. Ahead, check out those moves — never before done in a major competition — and learn a little bit about each all-star athlete.
Gymnast: Seojeong Yeo of the Republic of Korea
According to her FIG profile, South Korean gymnast Seojeong Yeo aims to win a gold medal in vault at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. On vault, the 17-year-old received eighth place at 2019 Worlds and first place at the 2018 Asian Games.
The vault named after Seojeong is a front handspring onto the table with a laid-out flip and two full twists. She performed and landed it at the 2019 Korea Cup, which made the skill eligible for inclusion into the Code of Points.
Watch the Skill: The Yeo on Vault
Gymnast: Emelie Petz of Germany
Emelie Petz, 16, of Germany recently competed at the 2019 World Gymnastics Championships, and though she and her teammates just missed qualifying for the team final, they were able to secure their ticket for the Tokyo 2020 Games (the top nine teams that didn't qualify at last year's Worlds — USA, Russia, and China — qualified this year).
The D-value bar dismount Emelie got named after her this year is something called a "clear straddle circle," which is a circle around the bar in a straddle position into a front flip off of the bar with a full twist in a tucked position. "It's such a nice feeling," she told GymCastic after landing it at 2019 Worlds. "I'm 16 years old and I have my own element on bars. It's named after me, so it's a Petz."
Watch the Skill: The Petz Off Bars
Gymnast: Simone Biles of the USA
If Simone defends her all-around title at Tokyo 2020, she would be the first female gymnast to do so in 50 years, according to the Olympic Channel. The 22-year-old said after her first Olympic Games in 2016, "I'm not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps: I'm the first Simone Biles."
Simone got two new skills named after her by landing them successfully at 2019 Worlds. There's the Biles on beam, which is a double-twisting double backflip dismount and is worth an H value, or eight-tenths of a point, despite opposition by Simone herself and some corners of the gymnastics world who think it should be worth more. Then, there's the Biles II (or Biles 2), that triple-twisting double backflip on floor you've seen all over the internet since July.
This is Simone's second floor skill named after her — hence the number two in its name — and it's worth a J, or one whole point. A J skill, for the record, is the highest-ever in the Code of Points.
Watch the Skill: The Biles Off Beam
Watch the Skill: The Biles II on Floor
Gymnast: Ting Hua-Tien of Chinese Taipei
Ting Hua-Tien is a 17-year-old gymnast representing Chinese Taipei. She did not qualify to compete in the 2019 Worlds all-around final, but she became the first Taiwanese gymnast to get a skill named after her in the Code of Points, after performing what will now be called "The Ting" successfully at the 2019 Melbourne World Cup.
The Ting on floor is a leap element: a split leap to ring position (when your back leg bends at the knee and you throw your head to touch that back foot, similar to the Dancer pose in yoga) with a half turn. It's worth a D value, or four-tenths of a point.
Watch the Skill: The Ting on Floor
Gymnast: Andrea Maldonado of Puerto Rico
Andrea Maldonado is a Puerto Rican native who just signed on as a junior with the Iowa State Cyclones and will be competing for its Division 1 gymnastics team. She previously spent two years at the University of Puerto Rico.
Andrea successfully landed a front handspring front layout with a triple twist on floor at the 2019 Cottbus World Cup, part of the FIG Apparatus World Cup series. The Maldonado is worth six-tenths of a point, or an F value. "This was the best experience of my gymnastics career," she said. "Having a move named after me is a dream come true."