Here it is in slow mo so you can see it better. Incredible! pic.twitter.com/xopqrUDdPl
— pitifulplayer (@perfectly_erika) May 24, 2021
It’s not bragging when she can actually DO it!
Simone Biles makes the extraordinary look routine in her first competition since 2019 https://t.co/H57bRuyw4I
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 23, 2021
Actual sportwriter, for the Washington Post:
Before Simone Biles begins her routines, the arena quiets in anticipation. Her excellence demands your full attention, and her history-making skills are worthy of the excitement they provoke. Biles hadn’t performed in a competitive environment since 2019, a hiatus prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, but even as elite meets disappeared from the calendar, her greatness only grew.
In her return to the competitive stage Saturday, Biles became the first woman to perform a Yurchenko double pike — a vault that requires her to flip twice in a piked position after pushing off the table with her hands. She executed the skill with ease all weekend as she prepared to unveil the new vault at the U.S. Classic. When the moment arrived, the 24-year-old landed the vault with a bouncing step backward, a product of having a bit too much power on a skill so difficult that none of her peers have attempted it in competition.
The difficulty value awarded to the skill gives the vault a maximum score of 16.600, and that’s not much higher than Biles’s other vaults, so why compete the new skill? “Because I can do it!” she said. “And it will still be named after me. … I know it’s not the correct value that we want, but I can still do it, so why not just show off my ability and athleticism?”
Biles’s performance wasn’t error-free, but she cruised to the all-around title with a score of 58.400, more than a full point ahead of the runner-up. Her leotard featured a goat on the back, emblematic of her status in this sport because of the gulf that exists between her and the competition — even when she makes mistakes. Biles has won the all-around title in every meet she has entered since 2013. At the U.S. Classic, she had the top scores on the vault, beam and floor, and she still has time to reach her peak form as the delayed Tokyo Olympics approach…
Simone Biles. Surya Bonaly. Serena Williams.
All strong. All powerful. All who changed the game.
Strong black women are often feared. Be strong anyway! ?? pic.twitter.com/dqAuTbsDhM
— Anne Boleyn (Sussex Supporter) (@TudorChick1501) May 24, 2021
The NYTimes: Some people say...
Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, is renowned for performing moves so difficult, and so distinctive, that several have been named after her.
On Saturday, she executed a new one considered so dangerous that no other women even attempt it…
The judges scoring her, however, were not so impressed. Despite the move’s difficulty, they gave it a provisional scoring value of 6.6, close to what Biles’s other vaults have received. That limited the points available for performing it successfully, a point that a frustrated Biles suggested was unfair to her.
“I feel like now we just have to get what we get because there’s no point in putting up a fight because they’re not going to reward it,” she said of judges and, ultimately, the International Gymnastics Federation, which has the final word on starting values for new vaults done in competition. “So we just have to take it and be quiet.”…
Part of the reason for that might be a concern for the safety of gymnasts not nearly as skilled as Biles — by assigning a dangerous move a low start value, the federation quietly discourages others from risking it. But there also may be a fear that Biles is so good that she might run away with any competition she enters simply by doing a handful of moves that her rivals cannot, or dare not, attempt…
The IOC gymnastic experts, as far back as I can remember, have been notorious for *not* protecting young female gymnasts — just off the top of my head, there were abuse allegations going back to the mid-1970s, involving the use of steroids on children & young adolescents; promoting eating disorders because ‘only tiny little bodies are flexible enough, and besides, the judges prefer them’; scoring ‘cute’ white performers higher than those of color; and, of course, letting Larry Nassar sexually abuse hundreds of gymnasts (of *both* sexes) because “winning”. So, it’s certainly plausible, at the intersection of racism and misogyny, that Biles is being genteelly Jim Thorpe’d.
And yet, the NYTimes wants credit for its bold truth-telling here… but not so much that they actually try pinning names to quotes, mind you. Because Why try, when They won’t let you win anyway? has been one of the most insidious weapons used against ‘uppity’ minority strivers since, well, forever.
This happens in figure-skating, too. There's a stigma against the rare women who have the physicality to do feats that haven't traditionally been part of the women's program. And of course there's racism. https://t.co/xYFpQukWIt
— Lindsay Beyerstein (@beyerstein) May 24, 2021
It's also worth pointing out that the Times story "reports" this entirely in passive voice, with no attribution. It's not even clear if this was told to them by anyone or if it's just speculation. https://t.co/HCjZco7GSJ
— Brien Jackson (@Brien_Jackson) May 24, 2021