Video of Simone Biles Historic Double Pike on Vault Watched 5 Million Times

Throughout her stellar career, Simone Biles has made a habit of repeatedly pushing what's possible by a female gymnast.

The reigning world and Olympic champion lived up to her reputation on Saturday night, becoming the first woman in history to execute a move that had been considered so dangerous no other female gymnast had even considered attempting it.

In her return to competition after an 18-month break at the U.S. Classic in Indianapolis, the 24-year-old successfully completed a move known as the Yurchenko double pike vault.

Rumours Biles could attempt the move had been circulating from the previous day, when a video of the 24-year-old practicing the move in training surfaced on social media.

Nevertheless, it was a major shock to see Biles perform the move, which up until Saturday had been considered a feat normally only attempted by men, in a competitive environment. Having sprinted down the runway, Biles did a roundoff onto the springboard before a back handspring onto the vault followed by two backflips in a pike position—that is to say with her body folded and legs straight— to finish the exercise.

A clip of her routine tweeted by NBC Sports immediately went viral and has racked up over five million views at the time of writing.

.@Simone_Biles successfully completed a Yurchenko double pike in vault at last night's #USClassic.

She is the first woman in HISTORY to perform the move in competition. @OnHerTurf pic.twitter.com/j07ZweTA0f

— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) May 23, 2021

The Yurchenko takes its name from former Russian gymnast Natalia Yurchenko, who pioneered the roundoff-back-handspring approach to the vault. Significantly, however, not even Yurchenko tried her namesake move in competition.

Biles was slightly penalized by the judges for hopping back a step after landing, but still earned a score of 16.100. To put the figure into context, the score is higher than both of those Biles received for her performances at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil when she won four gold medals.

The American, however, wasn't particularly impressed with the judges' verdict.

"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 told reporters afterward.

"So we just have to take it and be quiet."

Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, then suggested her score was kept deliberately low to keep the competition as close as possible.

"They're both too low and they [the judges] even know it," she said of the scores.

"But they don't want the field to be too far apart. And that's just something that's on them. That's not on me."

If the plan was to ensure Biles did not run away with the competition, it failed as the four-time Olympic gold medalist finished all-around score of 58.400 which was comfortably the best on the night.

U.S. gymnastic star Simone Biles
Simone Biles competes on the beam during the 2021 GK U.S. Classic gymnastics competition at the Indiana Convention Center on May 22 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emilee Chinn/Getty Images