Of all the apparatus that women compete in gymnastics, vault might be the one that has changed the most, not only it has changed its physical appearance in the last few years but, over time, the technique used also changed.
From the simple handsprings that were common in the 1960s, it might have been incredible to foresee the amazing high-flying twisting vaults we see today. It took a daring gymnast from the early 1980s, called Natalia Yurchenko, to revolutionize the apparatus, in the same way that Olga Korbut (and later Nadia Comaneci) revolutionized the sport in 1972. Natalia introduced a way of vaulting that nobody had done or even thought of doing before, she did a cartwheel on the runway, just as she was approaching the vault, therefore, she would touch the vaulting horse blindly, facing away from the apparatus, this provided a more powerful blocked and allowed for higher flight in the air. Soon gymnasts were adding twists to the Yurchenko vault, first 1 twist, then 1.5, then 2, and now 2.5 twists. There have even been gymnasts who have trained a TTY (triple-twisting Yurchenko), but no woman has been able to pull one off in competition. Today, the vault is the apparatus where it is easier to receive the highest execution marks for gymnasts, so good vaulters have a good chance to get ahead not only in vault finals but also in all around competitions, something the gymnastics Code-of-Points is trying to even out.