Simone Biles, Jade Carey among five gymnasts who may debut new skills in Tokyo

Posted at 10:57 PM, Jul 22, 2021

Simone Biles is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of what's possible in gymnastics. She so consistently raises the bar that her name appears in the Women's Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points four times, and she has a chance to add a fifth eponymous skill in Tokyo if she competes a Yurchenko double pike, a vault so difficult that no other woman has ever attempted it in competition. 

Biles debuted the vault at the U.S. Classic in April but hasn't performed it in competition since then. There is a chance the double pike — which would be dubbed the Biles II on vault since the reigning Olympic champion already has one named skill on the apparatus — will make an appearance during competition in Tokyo. Biles practiced it during podium training, but her coach Laurent Landi recently told On Her Turf that it wasn't a guarantee. 

"If she really wants to do it, she’s going to have to beg me,” Landi said. "People seem to forget that it’s a very, very dangerous skill… Just to have glory and being [in] the Code of Points, it’s not enough.” 

SEE MORE: U.S. Classic: Biles lands competition Yurchenko double pike

Biles isn't the only U.S. gymnast who may make gymnastics history this week. Jade Carey has also teased a skill that, if competed, would be rated as the most difficult skill in the Code of Points for both men's and women's artistic gymnastics. Carey's name could be attached to the laid-out triple-double, a tumbling skill that is performed on floor and requires the gymnast to flip twice and twist three times while maintaining a completely straight body. Carey practiced the tumbling pass at the national championship in June but did not go for it during Olympic podium training. 

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Biles performs the tucked version of the triple-double, named the Biles II on floor exercise after she successfully competed it at the 2019 World Championships, as her opening tumbling pass. 

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On the uneven bars, a new dismount may be named after Canadian gymnast Ava Stewart. The skill requires the gymnast to release the high bar and flip forward twice in the pike position with her body folded in half and her legs straight. 

Current reigning Olympic balance beam champion Sanne Wevers and her twin sister Lieke Wevers are representing The Netherlands and could both have dance elements on beam named after them. Sanne's new skill is a turn with two-and-a-half rotations while the non-standing leg remains below horizontal while Lieke's turns include a quintuple turn and a triple spin with the free leg held straight at horizontal level. 

Detailed explanations and illustrations of the six new elements can be found here.