10 Famous Gymnastics Moves Named After People

10 Famous Gymnastics Moves Named After People

Artistic gymnastics require determination, dedication, resilience, and a whole ton of hard work. The athletes that perform in this field dedicate their whole lives to this sport. In turn, they get rewarded with medals and, sometimes, they even get gymnastics moves named after them.

This says a lot about the way artistic gymnastics have been evolving these past decades. Compare footage of a beam exercise from years ago to a routine performed today and you will notice the growth in complexity. In order to stand out, to get closer to that sought-after perfect score, and to be remembered by history, several athletes come up with new things. We’d say it’s all worth it, as the gymnastics moves they create will be remembered and reproduced by generations to come.

Here are some of the most notable examples.

#1 “The Biles” – Simone Biles

New Gymnastics Moves Include The Biles
  • Share On Facebook
  • Share On Twitter
  • Pin it!

Source

Simone Biles is undoubtedly the best gymnast in the world at the moment. Some argue that she might just be the best gymnastic of all time. It’s certainly difficult to contradict this statement when the American athlete has the Olympic all-around title around her neck.

Either way, it feels only natural that she would also make her way to the hall of fame of gymnastics moves. “The Biles,” as the move is named, was first performed in 2013 during one of Simone’s floor exercises. Funnily, it was more or less a complete accident as Biles was forced to twist her body in order to make a landing that would protect her torn calf muscle.

#2 “The Amanar” – Simona Amanar

“The Amanar” was named after Romanian gymnast Simona Amanar, who first performed this move at the 2000 Olympic Games. It’s a vault move that’s included in the Yurchenko-type gymnastics moves. Simona included a backward salto and two-and-a-half twists to the round-off and back handspring typical to these moves.

Specialists widely consider it to be one of the most difficult gymnastics moves for the vault. Today, those that attempt to perform this move start off with an overwhelming difficulty of 6.3. This is half a point higher than the average vault difficulty.

#3 “Tkachev Salto” – Alexander Tkachyov

The “Tkachev Salto” is a move that is included in only the most daring of routines both in female and male artistic gymnastics. For men, it’s performed on the horizontal bar while for women, it’s performed on the uneven bars. Many consider the element to be the most difficult and impressive move in all of gymnastics.

It was performed for the first time in 1977 by USSR gymnastic Alexander Tkachyov. Since then, the move that would bear his name has been attempted at big competitions only by the most talented horizontal bar and uneven bars performers.

#4 “The Tsukahara” – Mitsuo Tsukahara

Watch any type of big artistic gymnastics competition and you’ll undoubtedly hear commenters mention this move a great number of times. “The Tsukahara” is a vault-typical element which isn’t considered necessarily difficult, but it’s sufficiently efficient, impressive, and famous.

It was a move first performed by Japanese gymnast Mitsuo Tsukahara in 1972. By definition, a Tsukahara is classified by “handspring with 1/4 – 1/2 turn onto the vault table into a salto backwards.” The definition is found in the Vault Skills Terminology.

#5 “The Korbut Flip” – Olga Korbut

USSR gymnast Olga Korbut first performed this element on the balance beam in in 1972. The gymnast needs to engage into a backwards somersault and then straddle the beam. Over the time, this move has evolved into other branching gymnastics moves that involve tucked legs, twists, or sequences.

It’s worth noting that there is another “Korbut Flip” out there, one for the uneven bars. It also belongs to Olga Korbut and was first showcased in 1972. But the move was so completely insane that it was eventually banned altogether.

#6 “The Dick” – Marisa Dick

Marisa Dick On Balance Beam
  • Share On Facebook
  • Share On Twitter
  • Pin it!

Source

Unflattering names aside, Marisa Dick’s elements is one of the gymnastics moves that have been incorporated in the balance beam dictionary most recently. Rather than a move during the routine itself, it’s actually a rather unique way of mounting the beam.

Marisa represented Trinidad and Tobago at the Rio Olympics from 2016, though she unfortunately didn’t qualify for all-around or individual balance beam finals. However, every time a gymnast will mount the beam by lading into perfect splits, the world will think of her.

#7 “The Produnova” – Elena Produnova

“The Produnova” is also often nicknamed as “the vault of death” because of how difficult it is to perform and how dangerously easy it is to get injured while attempting it. It’s the toughest element in women’s gymnastics, with a vault starting difficulty of 7.0.

Russian gymnast Elena Produnova first performed the element in 1999. Since then, very few gymnasts have attempted this move and even fewer succeeded at actually landing it. Some have even petitioned to ban the move because of its high risk factor.

#8 “The Rays” – Elise Ray

Elise Ray is a unique case, even on this list. The American gymnast was so good at uneven bars that she actually managed to get three individual gymnastics moves named after her.

The “Ray I” and “Ray II” are both elements included in the actual routine which involve attempting a series of moves in order to catch the high bar. However, her standout element has to be her incredibly astounding dismount, the “Ray III.”

#9 “The Okino” – Betty Okino

Sometimes we don’t give enough credit to the artistic parts of artistic gymnastics. Sometimes plain little pirouettes can be even tougher than complex backflips and somersaults. This is particularly true in the case of balance beam since they can easily, well, throw you off balance.

USA gymnast Betty Okino introduced the triple pirouette on the balance beam at the 1991 World Championships. Since then, it’s been giving gymnasts headaches as they struggle to not fall off while attempting it.

#10 “The Yurchenko” – Natalia Yurchenko

No other element has branched out into so many other distinct gymnastics moves. Natalia Yurchenko quite literally wrote history when she first performed this element. Since then, many gymnasts have attempted to add their own twists to “the Yurchenko” and make it even more difficult.

Variations include the Amanar, the Shushunova, the Lukoni, or the Cheng Fei. Any vault element that involves with a roundoff-back handspring entry can be considered as part of the Yurchenko family.

End

Next time you open the TV on a WAG or MAG competition, you’ll be able to brag about your knowledge on gymnastics moves. Alternatively, you can try to identify and understand them. You’re welcome.

The following two tabs change content below.
  • Share On Facebook
  • Share On Twitter
  • Pin it!
  • Share On Facebook
  • Share On Twitter
  • Pin it!

David Williams

  • Share On Facebook
  • Share On Twitter
  • Pin it!
  • Share On Facebook
  • Share On Twitter
  • Pin it!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This