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Vault Skills
Terminology

The first event in the "Olympic order," the vault requires the gymnast to run toward the horse and push herself off of it with her hands. The part of the vault before the gymnasts hands hit the horse is called the "preflight." The second half, after she pushes off the vault, is called the "postflight."

Families:

In the Code of Points, vaults are divided into five groups, or "families" (note that for the 2001 COP a fifth family has been added - yurchenko entry with twists in preflight). They are:

Handsprings without saltos - these vaults do not have a flip in the air after the gymnast pushes off the horse. They are rarely done today but were popular in the 1970's. In this category, the gymnast runs towards the horse, jumps off of the springboard, and puts her hand directly forwards on the horse. She then pushes herself off, doing a variety of twists (but no flips) in the postflight

Handspring - the gymnast runs towards the horse, jumps off of the springboard and puts her hands directly forward onto the horse. The postflight contains a variety of flips and twists. A common example used today is the cuervo vault, where the gymnast pushes off the horse, does a half twist and then a backward salto.

Tsukahara - in this category, the gymnast jumps off the springboard and then does a twist before pushing off the horse backwards. One Tsukahara vault that is common today is the Phelps, where the gymnast is supposed to do a turn onto the horse, a turn off and then a front layout.

Yurchenko - this contains all vaults with round-of entries. One example is the Yurchenko-double twist, where the gymnast does a round-off onto the springboard, a back handspring onto the horse, and a double twisting flip off of the horse.

Yurchenko with twists in preflight - The newest and final category describes vaults in which the gymnast performs a round-off (Yurchenko) entry and then or more turns before pushing off the horse. An example is the Podkopayeva, where the gymnast does a round-off onto the board, a turn onto the horse, and a piked forward salto off with turn.


Named Vaults

Barani - handspring entry, forward salto off with turn. Current performers include Vanessa Atler (USA), Denisse Lopez (MEX), (who perform it in a layout position).

Cuervo - handspring entry, turn off to a backward salto. This can easily be confused with a barani - note where the turn occurs. In a cuervo the gymnast does a half turn then a backward salto. In a barani the gymnast does a forward salto with a twist at the end. Current performers of the cuervo include Svetlana Khorkina (RUS), and Esther Moya.

Hristkieva - Yurchenko entry, turn off, then a front layout. Current performers include Kate Richardson (CAN) and most of the other Canadian gymnasts.

Khorkina - Yurchenko entry, turn on, pike Cuervo off. Current performers include Svetlana Khorkina (RUS) and Ester Moya (ESP). Esther does it in a layout position.

Luconi - Yurchenko entry, turn on, back tuck off. Current performers include Monique Nuijten (NED), Olga Roushupkina (UKR) (who performs it in a pike position).

Omelianchik - Yurchenko entry, turn on, front tuck salto off. Nowadays, gymnasts usually use this vault when working towards a Khorkina or Podkopayeva vault.

Phelps - Tsukahara entry, turn off to a front layout. Current performers include Simona Amanar (ROM), Maria Olaru (ROM), Lisa Mason (GBR) and Viktoria Karpenko (UKR).

Podkopayeva - Yurchenko entry, turn on, front pike off with turn. Current performers include Andreea Raducan (ROM), who has performed it in both piked and layout position.

Rudi - handspring entry, forward salto off with 1 twists. Recent performers include Vanessa Atler (USA) (who performed it in a layout position), Nelly Rammassamy (FRA) and Adrienn Varga (HUN) (who both performed it in a tuck position).

This list is incomplete, please contribute more: Email us -- Thanks!


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