Simone Biles Has 2 Gymnastics Skills Named After Her Already — Here's How That Happens
One of my favorite lines in the film Stick It goes, "The only reason I'm doing these tricks is because somebody, somewhere said, 'I don't care if this is nuts, and I don't care if it hurts. I'm doing it. I'm gonna climb this insanely high mountain. Watch me.' And when you're the first to climb a new mountain in gymnastics, they name it after you." Haley (Missy Peregrym) was right. As you might have heard, Simone Biles continues to make history not only with her six-year winning streak, but also with her dynamic moves that have never before been successfully done on the world stage. She already has two skills named after her — The Biles on floor and The Biles on vault — and there's more to come.
In order to have a gymnastics skill named after you, per the FIG Women's Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points, you need to perform the skill without falling at a World Championships, an Olympic Games, or a Youth Olympic Games. You also need to be the only person to land that skill for the first time; if there's more than one gymnast landing it in any of those competitions, then the element will be added to the FIG Code of Points without anyone's name attached.
In gymnastics, each skill is ranked by difficulty starting at an A, which is worth one tenth of a point. In order for any move to be added to the FIG Code of Points as a new skill bearing a gymnast's name, it needs to be at least a C in difficulty, worth three tenths (the FIG Technical Committee comes up with these values). The first skill that was named after Simone, The Biles on floor, is a G skill. It's a double layout with a half twist. We saw her add a front layout to that move at the 2019 GK US Classic in July, but according to the women's gymnastics staff from USA Gymnastics, even though Simone added onto this move, its value won't change in the books. Instead, Simone is rewarded with bonus tenths. That goes for any addition to a new skill already in the FIG Code of Points.
Until a new skill is in the FIG Code of Points, it needs to be assigned a value for scoring in competition — which is why Simone's triple-twisting double was given a value at the US Gymnastics Championships in August, where she competed it for the first time. If she lands it properly at the 2019 World Championships in October, the triple double will most likely be worth a J, or one whole point, according to Cheryl Hamilton, who attended the 2012 and 2016 Olympics as a judge and is internationally qualified. She told POPSUGAR that, as chair of the Women's National Technical Committee, she and two others — chair of the International Elite Committee Kelli Hill and USA Gymnastics's representative to the FIG Women's Technical Committee Tatiana Perskaya — were the people to determine that J value.
Cheryl admitted that the skill is so good that they had to surpass H and I. As for next steps, it would then need to be submitted to the FIG Technical Committee at Worlds this year, if landed correctly, to get an official value. It would be named after Simone (called, "The Biles II") and would go into the FIG Code of Points for women's gymnastics. In comparison, Simone's never-before-competed double-twisting double dismount off of beam — which is, in simple terms, two back handsprings connected to a back flip with two twists and two flips — could get named after her as well and would be worth an I, or nine tenths, Cheryl said.
Simone has therefore climbed that insanely high mountain in gymnastics with not only medals to prove it, but also her name in the rule books. Of that very first skill bearing her name, Simone said in 2015, "That's really cool to have something named after me and have it stay in the history of gymnastics, but it's kind of weird because every time I do it, I say, 'Oh, I'm gonna do a double lay half out.' I never say, 'Oh, I'm gonna go do The Biles.'" (Note: "double lay half out" is the same thing as a double layout with a half twist.) Ahead, check out examples of skills named after some of history's greatest gymnasts. They're high-flying and permanently etched into the perfection-seeking, always-impressive sport.
The Okino: Betty Okino on Beam
Betty Okino's triple turn on beam got named after her. According to the FIG Code of Points for women's gymnastics, it's an E skill, meaning it's worth five tenths.
The Schäfer: Pauline Schäfer on Beam
In the FIG Code of Points, it says Pauline Schäfer from Germany performed this side somi half at the 2014 World Championships. In technical terms, it's described as a "salto sideward tucked with 1/2 turn." You can see it around 40 seconds into this video.
The Cheng: Cheng Fei on Vault
Broken down, a Cheng vault is a round-off on the springboard connected to a half turn onto the vault and one and a half twists off. See her make history at the 1:30 mark. Fun fact: Simone has done this in competition as well.
The Chusovitina: Oksana Chusovitina on Floor
Oksana, who's made history as the oldest female gymnast to compete in an Olympic Games at age 41 and has competed in a whopping seven consecutive Olympics, has many skills named after her. This one is a double layout with a full twist (the first tumbling pass in this video). You can also see her do it four years later here.
The Shaposhnikova: Natalia Shaposhnikova on Bars
Natalia, who represented the former Soviet Union, was the first person to do this clear hip circle to handstand transition to the high bar at a major competition.
The Biles: Simone Biles on Floor
After Simone landed a double layout with a half twist at the 2013 World Championships, it was dubbed "The Biles."
The Biles: Simone Biles on Vault
Simone did her signature vault, The Biles, during the qualifying round of the 2018 World Championships. It's a round-off on the springboard connected to a half turn onto the vault with two twists. It's also commonly called a half on double off. You can find all the moves named after Simone (and others in the works) here.