Simone Biles is the greatest gymnast the sport has seen in the modern era. Any more accomplishments Simone racks up is simply adding to a resume that already exceeds every other gymnast in recent times. There is nothing left for Simone to prove. But what can she do to add to her legacy and further cement it? I’ve come up with a list of possible goals that Simone could accomplish to further prove just how dominant she is over everyone else.
Win the All-Around with a margin of victory of 2.317 points.
The current record for the largest margin of victory (MOV) in a major gymnastics competition (World Championships or Olympics) is 2.316 which happened all the way back at the 1950 World Championships. The record itself occurred under fluke circumstances due to virtually all of the major women’s artistic gymnastics (WAG) powers missing the 1950 World Championships. It also had a highly unusual scoring system that inflated MOV and was never used again.
If Simone wins by 2.317 points this would be significant for two reasons. First she would be the record holder for the largest MOV in WAG history. Secondly, Simone would be able to say that she is so badass, she can take down a 69 year old fluke record that once looked impossible to break.
Win Olympic gold medals on uneven bars and the balance beam.
Vera Caslavska is the only gymnast to win a gold medal on all five individual events at the Olympics in her career. Biles needs to win gold on these two events to be the second gymnast to do it. To put it in perspective how difficult this is, the closest a gymnast has come to matching Caslavska’s record:
-Nadia who won gold on four different events, but failed to medal entirely on her fifth event.
-Larissa Latynina who won gold on three events and silver on her two remaining events.
Win at least four gold medals at the 2019 U.S. National Championships.
The United States is currently dominating WAG in a fashion that hasn’t been seen since the days of the Soviets. But for all the dominant gymnasts the USSR produced, their domestic competitions typically had a degree of parity. There were only two gymnasts (Kuchinskaya & Yurchenko) who ever won eight gold medals (1) in a two year stretch at the USSR Championships.
Biles made history last year by sweeping all five medals at the 2018 National Championships. If she comes even close to that by winning four gold medals, she will have the greatest run in domestic competition in the history of WAG. And given the depth of the American and Soviet lineups, wining eight or nine medals in their national champions is considerably harder than doing it at the national championships of any other gymnastics power.
Get the Triple-Twisting-Yurchenko (TTY) named after her.
Ever since Natalia Yurchenko debuted the move in 1982, the vault has revolved around the Yurchenko and its upgrades. But each half twist the athletes have added to the move has become exponentially harder. It has been two decades since the move was last upgraded when Simona Amanar raised the standards to 2.5 twists in the vault that now bares her name. WAG fans have been speculating on the extra half twist (TTY) for years. Currently the conditions are ideal for the TTY to make its debut. North Korean gymnast Hong Un-jong attempted it at the 2016 Olympics, but failed to complete the move successfully.
Biles has built a reputation for herself by dabbling in skills that are exceedingly difficult and go far beyond what any other gymnast is capable of doing. In the thick of things, it will be just another insanely difficult move in the list of insanely difficult moves Simone has in her arsenal. But the TTY is different as Yurchenko style moves generate so much discussion within the WAG community. The TTY could do for Biles what the 2.5 did for Amanar. Whoever gets the TTY will have their name invoked in any casual conversations about the vault for the next three decades at least.
At this point the best way for Simone to keep building her legacy is less about winning medals (she already has more than enough) and more about getting moves named after her. A gymnast getting a move named after oneself often leaves a greater legacy than winning a gold medal. Having your name entered into the Code of Points (CoP) means fans on social media/forums and television commentators will repeat it during every gymnastics competition for as long as that move stays relevant.
Biles isn’t just capable of adding more moves to the CoP, she can completely blow it up. If Biles decides to start throwing all the difficult moves she has dabbled with in training, WAG fans would drive themselves nuts trying to keep track of them all. It is theoretically possible for Simone to have the Biles I and the Biles II on vault. Not to be confused with the Biles I and the Biles II on floor, while also having the Biles dismount on beam. With all of those moves being among the most difficult in the sport.
- This stat only counts medals in the six standard WAG events. Pre-1950s era WAG competitions often had medals for women in events such as pommel horse and rings.