(K. Brent Tomer),
At the recent qualification event for the Rio Olympics, American gymnast Simone Biles soared through the air in a quick succession of high-flying flips, performing arguably the most difficult floor routine in the world. Her four passages included a skill named after her, a double flip with a half twist, and easily earned her a spot in the individual all-around final. But it was when her teammate Laurie Hernandez (pictured) took to the floor that something even more surprising in the world of elite gymnastics took place—she exuded artistry. “You feel her routine,” says Jessica O’Beirne, creator of the popular gymnastics podcast GymCastic. “You have an emotional reaction to it.” Although both gymnasts contributed to the country taking home the team gold in Rio last week, Biles brought home the top medal for the individual all-around competition, which Hernandez did not qualify for.
This reflects a significant transformation in women’s artistic gymnastics in the last decade. The emphasis on artistry, which played…Continue reading