Sport

Simone Biles works best in the air

By Thom Patterson, CNN

Updated 1838 GMT (0238 HKT) August 11, 2016
Share
01 Simone Biles 0810 01 Simone Biles 0810
1 of 7
You may already know that U.S. Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles has a signature move named after her called "The Biles." In fact Biles has an entire catalog of specialized maneuvers at her command when she performs a floor exercise, or on the balance beam, the uneven bars or the vault. Click through the gallery to see some of Biles' most breathtaking tumbles, dismounts and other moves that have wowed the world during her time at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP/Getty Images
The move that bears her name is part of a spectacular floor exercise maneuver. "The Biles" is a leap through the air that includes three elements: 1. a double layout (a layout is when the body is stretched out fully); 2. a half-twist, when Biles shifts her weight to turn her body; 3. a blind landing. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Her ability to jump high and maintain momentum in midair comes from a combination of her short stature and great strength. That's one reason why you'll see Biles perform so many "double-doubles." A double-double is a challenging double-twisting, double-back somersault tumbling move. You need to jump very high to have time to do all that twisting and flipping. Biles packs a lot of power into her 4 feet, 8 inches. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
Biles also is known for her extremely powerful running skills. Her ability to get up to speed quickly lets her pack more tumbling elements into a single jump. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
The Amanar vault has been called "one of the hardest vaults performed by women." Biles has been praised for her consistency and height when performing this move. Here's how it works: As the gymnast runs up to the horse, she hits the mat with her hands into a round-off, then hits her feet onto the spring board to do a back handspring onto the horse. Finally, she flips off the horse into a twisting layout back flip, landing facing the horse. David Ramos/Getty Images
Remember that the balance beam in gymnastics is only 4 inches wide. Near the start of Biles' balance beam performance she does an extremely difficult element called the Wolf Turn. Squatting on her right foot, with her arms and left leg outstretched -- she spins two-and-a-half times around. Then, without falling, Biles stands upright to continue her routine. Lars Baron/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
Experts call it the hardest balance beam dismount in gymnastics. Biles flips backward head-over-heels twice toward the end of the beam. Then she jumps backward off the end of the beam, flipping in mid-air twice before sticking the landing perfectly. Lars Baron/Getty Images