Watch Simone Biles's superhuman gymnastics routine in slow motion


I think the slo-mo makes her look exactly like the astronauts in zero-G on the space station. So, yeah, superhuman. It’s like gravity doesn’t exist for her.


I watched it twice.



Tremendous strength to weight ratio. Her heights are incredible, but even in slo-mo her descents look scary; she has to be super-fast for the landing at the end of those spins or else…


I wonder how much of a cut she’d demand if I hired her for an Ocean’s Eleven-style heist?



She is 4’ 8", so scale it a little bit in your head.

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You must be quite a bit younger than some of us, or at least with much better eyesight.

I need, and appreciate, the slo-mo so that I can truly appreciate her excellence.


Nadia Comaneci in 1976 got the first perfect 10 score for women’s gymnastics…oh, excuse me, she got SEVEN of them that competition:


Absolutely. I just meant Bolt and Phelps as examples of people so far out ahead of the crowd. It’s fun to be able to watch them. Nadia Comaneci was certainly of that class (although how well known was she ahead of the games?) (I’m too young to remember Montreal except vaguely (although we had a neighbor who won two silvers in swimming then)).


I’m going to argue that it’s not “superhuman”. As you point out this is a super human. She’s trained to the point where she can do things that nobody else can. Not some sort of magical “not human”, but absolute peak human. Amazing.


Sounds like she’s already set as far as gold goes.


They did make doing a run-up and flips illegal for the high jump because it’s possible to break the world record doing so. It would make the high jump more of a “momentum spring” event if allowed.

She was kept secret behind an “Iron Curtain” before the '76 Games so no one would know what they were up against. In fact, there were no videos of her at all on YouTube at the time.


Say what now?

Why would “they” not want a world record broken?


“They” (you know, them) didn’t allow the technique because it’s not really part of what a high jump is. The fact that someone showed it was possible to clear the world record, or get really close, is why the prohibition on “complete flips” (or something like that) was made.

It’s not supposed to be the “highest bar cleared by any physical means” it’s a high jump. It really would become a completely different event if tumbling were allowed.

I think there should be another event for “tumbling high jump” too, but I can see why they made the distinction, it’s a totally different skill set than pure propulsion off the ground.

edit: I googled more about this and found out the same thing applies in the long jump: there’s a ‘somersault’ technique that’s been banned mostly for safety reasons. And safety reasons are cited in the gymnast-flip high jump technique ban too.


I suppose the gym mats supply some significant rebound, but damnnn her torso gets up there. Pretty impressive for an athlete under 5’ to be flying the same heights as competitive high jumpers (if that’s indeed the case which I still can’t figure out here).

Edit - people have figured this out and she’s jumping twice her height. Incredible. This chart shows just how high Simone Biles can jump


I need the slow-mo just to see what’s happening. And it’s not due to age… I’ve never been able to see the individual moves and, barring faceplant-level mistakes, I can’t make any sense out of scores. Same with figure skating, diving, etc.

Someone else mentioned how this would look on the moon. Which leads me to think we’ll need to start designating records with “which planet” metadata. I wonder what her sport would look like at the Moon Olympics.


I see what you did there…

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Oh neat - I considered your line of thought, actually but when I noted concepts like “magical” in my thought process I realized the word I was debating wasn’t “superhuman” but rather “supernatural”. Which she’s not, and so superhuman seemed more reasonable.

No challenge to your response, though - I just enjoy nattering about words. :slight_smile: