Skills in gymnastics are named after gymnasts to recognize their significant contributions to the sport. Here's how the process typically works:
Innovation and Uniqueness: A gymnast must first introduce a skill that is considered both innovative and unique. This means the skill has not been performed before in official competition.
Successful Execution in Major Competition: The gymnast must then successfully perform the skill in a major competition, such as the Olympic Games, World Championships, or other events sanctioned by the sport's governing body.
Submission and Review: After successful execution, the skill can be submitted to the sport's governing body (such as the International Gymnastics Federation or FIG) for review. The FIG evaluates the skill based on its difficulty, originality, and safety.
Recognition and Documentation: If the skill meets the criteria, it is officially recognized, and the gymnast's name is associated with it. This recognition becomes part of the official Code of Points, which outlines the scoring system for gymnastics routines.
There are several reasons why it is important to name gymnastics skills after the athletes the performed them for the first time.
It serves as a way to honor and recognize the gymnast's contribution to the sport. It acknowledges their innovation, creativity, and skill level.
It helps maintain a historical record of the sport's evolution. This is important for documenting the progression of gymnastics over time.
Naming a skill after a gymnast can be a powerful motivator for current and future gymnasts. It encourages them to push their boundaries and come up with new, unique, and challenging elements.
It makes it easier for judges, coaches, and athletes to communicate about routines and their difficulty. It ensures that everyone knows which skill is being referred to, reducing confusion in technical discussions. It allows the gymnast to leave a lasting impact on the sport, even after they retire. Their name becomes associated with a particular move, contributing to their legacy.
Overall, naming skills after gymnasts is a way to celebrate their achievements, inspire future generations, and recognize their influence on the sport of gymnastics.
There are examples of some of the most popular and frequently performed skills named after gymnasts:
Biles (on Floor Exercise): Named after Simone Biles, this is a double layout half-out with a small hop on landing. Simone Biles has performed this skill in international competition.
Biles (on Vault): Also named after Simone Biles, this is a roundoff half-on, front double full-off vault. It's a very difficult vault and Simone Biles is the only female gymnast to have performed it in competition.
Nabieva (on Uneven Bars): Named after Tatiana Nabieva, this skill involves a clear hip circle into a Tkachev release move.
Pak Salto (on Uneven Bars): Named after Anastasia Liukin, this is a transition move on bars where the gymnast releases the bar, does a half twist, and then regrasps.
Shirai (on Floor Exercise): Named after Kenzo Shirai, this is a quadruple twist, often performed in combination with other tumbling passes.
Yurchenko (on Vault): Named after Natalia Yurchenko, this is a roundoff entry onto the springboard followed by a back handspring onto the vaulting table and typically followed by a salto.
Amanar (on Vault): Named after Simona Amanar, this is a roundoff onto the springboard followed by a back handspring onto the vaulting table and a 2.5-twisting somersault.
Kovacs (on High Bar): Named after Daniel Kovacs, this is a release move on the high bar involving a double front somersault.
Huang (on Balance Beam): Named after Huang Qiushuang, this is a back handspring step-out to a layout step-out, often used in series on the balance beam.
Weiler Kip (on Uneven Bars): Named after Eberhard Gienger, the Weiler Kip is a skill on uneven bars that involves a clear hip circle followed by a pirouette.