What do a bumblebee, a hummingbird and gymnast Simone Biles have in common?
The answer: Nobody’s quite sure how they’re able to fly, but they take to the air like they could be nowhere else in this world.
And what’s more, Biles looks a lot more graceful doing it.
At the USA Gymnastics selection camp, where the team will be choosing its five-woman squad for the world championships in Doha, Qatar, Biles showed up less to audition for a spot on the squad –anyone with two functioning eyes and a passing knowledge of gymnastics knows that decision is all over but the shouting — and more to just plain show off.
And with this vault, Biles basically told the world “The top prize for the rest of you will be a silver medal.”
When the time comes to judge the contest, they’re going to need Spinal Tap to sit in so that the scores go to 11.
The folks at Inside Gymnastics were nice enough to slow it down for those of us mere mortals who could no further comprehend in real time just what wonders we saw that could we when watching the wings of a hummingbird in full flap:
— Inside Gymnastics (@InsideGym) October 11, 2018
The vault featured “a roundoff onto the board and half twist onto the table,” followed by two full twists in order to ensure that Biles landed facing away from the vault table.
Previously, the best a woman had ever done on the vault was the same entry but with 1.5 twists in the air, a maneuver named “the Cheng” after Cheng Fei of China, who pioneered the move in 2005.
When a gymnast invents something new on the fly, she gets her name attached to it, so the move Biles pulled off gets to be called “the Biles.”
Even better? There’s already a move in gymnastics called “the Biles” — the “double-layout half” on the floor exercise event is also known as “the Biles.”
All of this is capped off, however, by the fact that Biles only got back into competitive gymnastics last November after taking a year off from competition.
It’s safe to say she’s back in Olympic shape.
Of course, it was a mere formality that Biles made the team headed to Qatar for the worlds:
Simone Biles, Kara Eaker, Morgan Hurd, Grace McCallum, Riley McCusker and Ragan Smith make up our 2018 World Championships Team! The alternate will be decided in Qatar. Go Team USA! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/dC7B2hxlWU
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) October 12, 2018
And much like Michael Jordan coming back to basketball in 1995, what this means for the rest of gymnastics is likely just everyone else fighting for that consolation prize. The champion spot’s on lockdown.
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