Scared For Simone Biles, Coach Cecile Raises Voice Against Rule, Putting Her In Danger Ahead Of Olympics: “Saved Maybe A Few Concussions”

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Did you know that Simone Biles takes a half-point deduction each time she has performed the Yurchenko double pike? With the Paris Olympics coming closer, all eyes are on Biles. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was a sad outing for her that resulted in a 2-year hiatus owing to Biles’ mental health struggles. But the tides seem to have risen now as Biles has already taken her first step toward redemption.

Competing at the 2023 US Classics, the gymnastics queen displayed her prowess to clinch the all-around gold. Going forward, several questions remain unanswered. One of them is will Simone Biles stick to her Chenko Double Pike going into Paris. Or will she focus on the Amanar as was spotted earlier inside her gym?

While the Chenko Double Pike might earn her more points, the risk element involved is extremely high. This was an area of concern that was raised recently by none other than Cecile Landi, Simone Biles’ coach.

Whenever Biles performed the Yurchenko double pike, the judges hardly found any errors when she dived on the table and flipped in the air. This was the fifth skill to be named after her (one on the balance beam, two on the floor exercise, and two on the vault). But her most significant deduction comes on the landing. That is because Laurent Landi stands on the mat when Biles lands during the risky vault.

Sitting down in a Spotify podcast, Cecile Landi opened up about this bizarre rule that she did not like. Speaking about how Simone Biles wants to perfect her Chenko Double Pike, Cecile stated that the fact Laurent Landi could not be present made no sense. Expressing her anger, Cecile stated, “Yeah, it’s, it’s such a dumb deduction too. Like honestly when you see on bars the coaches and they’re doing hint signal and stuff and this and then you can’t have anybody on a vault like this or even on a vem dismount, I’m sorry. It would’ve saved maybe a few concussions and injuries if people were able to stay.

Even Chellsie Memmel, the technical lead of the U.S. high-performance staff, also felt that Biles should have Landi by her side during the landing and said, “My personal opinion is that he should be able to stand there.”

For those who are unaware, the rule does not permit a coach to be close to a gymnast during a vault routine. Otherwise, the athlete would be subjected to a points deduction. To avoid any such situations in the Olympics, Simone Biles is hellbent on not having Laurent Landi on the mat while she practices the Chenko Double Pike.

This decision came after Biles, in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships last year, voluntarily took a half-point deduction so coach Landi could stand on the mat as a precaution as she nailed the Yurchenko.

Even the president of the women’s technical committee, Donatella Sacchi mentioned, “We are not going to change any rule before the Olympic Games.” Usually, the Code of Points book is updated for each Olympic cycle. But, as the Paris Games is just around the corner, there has been no update on this. If at all there is a change in the rule, it would benefit Biles in continuing the challenging vault.

Cecile also justified her opinion by saying that a deduction would have made sense if there was physical help. For example, if Laurent would touch Biles and help her with her routine, there was every reason for points to be deducted. However, a coach being present merely to keep a check on the safety and well-being of his gymnasts should be permitted according to Cecile.

Simone Biles’ Chenko Double Pike gets a 6+ difficulty

According to the International Gymnastics Federation, Simone Biles’ Yurchenko Double Pike is quite a difficult routine. In fact, the complications involved are so high that it was awarded a 6.4 difficulty score. To give context, the iconic Produnova vault has a difficulty score of 6. Biles’ previous routine, the eponymous vault is also rated as a 6.

Till the 2022 World Championships, the most difficult vault performed had a difficulty rating of 5.6. Such a rating did come as a surprise to Simone Biles as well. While it was expected that the routine would be valued around the 6s, it was quite a pleasant revelation that it got .4 more than the current difficult ones.

“With 6.6 being the highest Difficulty score that a gymnast can currently obtain on this apparatus, Biles’s new vault has no comparison in the Women’s Code of Points,” a FIG statement read after the element was submitted for 2020 Tokyo. “The Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee used the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points as a reference to determine the value this vault should have.”

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