An hour after Simone Biles landed her triple double on floor during the qualifying round of 2019 Worlds and solidified her chances of getting it — the Biles II — added into the gymnastics rulebooks, she did the same for her double double beam dismount. Remember it? She debuted it at Nationals in August. It's two back handsprings on the beam connected to two flips and two twists in a tucked position off of the beam. Simone received a 14.8 for that routine, and you can watch the moment she landed the dismount above!
In order to get a skill named after you in gymnastics and added to the FIG Code of Points, you must submit it for evaluation and land it successfully at a major competition such as a World Championships or the Olympics. The FIG Women's Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee announced that this skill, The Biles, was among one of ten moves submitted by gymnasts for evaluation at Worlds. They gave it an H value, meaning eight tenths of a point, despite the fact that the National Technical Committee, and Simone herself, have openly opposed. To them, that's too low of a value.
In fact, Cheryl Hamilton, internationally qualified judge and chair of the Women's National Technical Committee, told POPSUGAR in a previous interview that the double double dismount's value was most likely nine tenths of a point as an I-level skill. When FIG released the news about the H value, Simone retweeted many people who voiced their opposition (she also replied to the news as "bullshit"). The FIG Women's Technical Committee called their decision "reasonable" in a statement released on Oct. 4. "In assigning values to the new elements, the WTC takes into consideration many different aspects; the risk, the safety of the gymnasts and the technical direction of the discipline," the statement reads. They also noted that there's an added risk in potentially landing the skill on your neck.
USA Gymnastics released a response that same day, saying they "respectfully disagree" with the value assigned and had sent an inquiry asking for a revision (most likely to increase the value to what Cheryl had indicated as an I). Ultimately, FIG is the deciding body and has the final say in the value of what's in the FIG Code of Points. USA Gymnastics wrote, "The safety of athletes is always a top priority for us and the sport in general, however we believe the skill should be given the value it merits. Simone is an amazing gymnast who continues to develop and challenge the norm with creative and technical ability and skill, and we applaud and support her efforts."
The Biles will be the only H-level element on beam right now, according to FIG, meaning that it's still the highest skill on that event. Eight tenths or nine tenths, Simone's double double is, like her, high-flying and defying the odds. Watch her in the team final of 2019 Worlds on Tuesday, Oct. 8!