We’re incredibly lucky to live in the same world as Simone Biles, who is making history by dominating the world of gymnastics. Witnessing her perform her routines will give you goosebumps every time, even if you can’t do a cartwheel. And superhuman Biles isn’t just winning gold medals and setting new records — she’s performing feats of athletics that have never been done by a woman in her sport. At a qualifying competition for the world championships, Biles completed a brand-new vault that has only been successfully performed by men. And yes, there is video. Are you ready to have your mind completely blown?
The original version of this vault is called the Cheng, which is named after a Cheng Fei, a Chinese gymnast. It is considered one of the most difficult vaults in gymnastics. Biles put her own twist on the Cheng — literally, by adding in extra half-twist. This means that her vault contains a roundoff, half on, front double full off and is a whole new move.
In terms of difficulty, the Cheng ranks only behind the Amanar vault, which was made famous by McKayla Maroney at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Biles just upped the ante on an already spectacular vault. And, as you can see in the video, she sticks her landing like it’s absolutely nothing, save the giant proud smile on her face. Smile, Simone, you’ve earned it.
Now that Biles has completed this new vault, she may even be honoured by having it named after her when she competes in the world championships in Doha, Qatar, in November. It would be the second time Biles earns a namesake gymnastics move; she famously coined her own double layout half on the floor. Deadspin also speculates that Biles’ new vault essentially assures her another world championship gold medal for that exercise. She won her first gold medal on vault at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Of course, the internet could not deal, and Biles inspired a new hashtag. #SimoneThings is our new favourite meme — and it involves celebrating Biles’ accomplishment. As some Twitter users pointed out, it’s a wonderful example of Black excellence, as well as a new level in women’s gymnastics.