INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 24, 2012 — The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) recently approved naming a pommel horse skill after the USA’s Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./University of Michigan, because he was the first gymnast to compete the skill at an official FIG competition. He performed what is now known as the "Mikulak" during the men’s qualification round at 2012 Olympic Games in London, and the skill is included in the FIG’s 2013-16 Code of Points for Men’s Artistic Gymnastics that was published last week.
"The pommel horse skill was something where I just pushed an old skill to the limits, and just made it more exciting and a little bit more interesting," said Mikulak, who is back at Michigan and preparing for the upcoming collegiate season. "Having that skill, the Mikulak, in the books forever is something that I can look back on and say that I made a difference in the world of gymnastics. This is one of my biggest honors and it just makes me happy to be a part of (the Code)."
The "Mikulak" is a double scissor forward (sometimes called a scissor full here in the USA) with a hop from one end of the horse to the other. The skill actually begins with forward leg swings and half turn of the body, but ends with backward leg swings. A typical scissor on the pommel horse is a skill where the gymnast performs a pendulum swing with both legs individually, changing sides of the horse at its peak.
The "Mikulak" is valued as a D skill on a scale from A to G, with G being the most difficult. The 2013-16 Code of Points has three scissor skills for pommel horse bearing individual gymnast’s names, all with a D value, and it does not have any other single leg scissor skills that have greater than a D value.
Mikulak is now one of the few U.S. gymnasts who have a skill named after them in the Code of Points.