Apparently, though, it's happened. And though the sources are a little bit sketchy at best, I may be willing to accept that it's been done. The problem, then? That it's supposed to have been done by Armine Barutyan Fong.
Yes, yes. She's married to Al Fong. Fail.
Still, I'm okay with ignoring that minor personality flaw if it means I get to see video footage of a double layout off balance beam. There's also reports of a triple back off uneven bars, but that just doesn't seem as exciting. Bars, you know, you have all that momentum, you're 7 feet, 9 inches off the ground, it seems almost natural that someone would attempt, and possibly land a triple back. But beam?
Beam is unforgiving. You'll agree with me if you've ever walked across one. There is SO much less room for error on beam, it's almost unbelievable. There's a reason Carly Patterson is the only gymnast to perform her dismount (unless you cound Bulldog Bross, which I don't, because she butchered it). Why would you ever risk throwing something like that when you could just settle for a double back? And that is why there's about one hundred gymnasts out there throwing double backs.
Imagine then, something even harder than a double Arabian after 90 seconds on a four-inch wide plank, four feet above the ground. A double layout. The mind boggles. And then gets a little bit excited. If I'm honest? No, I don't think it really happened. Or, maybe it happened and she didn't stick it. Maybe she landed on her head, or her butt, or her knees. The fact that she might have tried is exciting.
Will anyone during this quad try it? It's unlikely. But once upon a time, it was "unlikely" that women would do Deltchevs on uneven bars. Hell, it was unlikely that I would win Sportswoman of the Year last year. So maybe someone - Murakami Mai? Deng Linlin? - will give it a whirl.
The triple back off bars I don't care so much about. But a double layout off beam? Call me.