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Kim Zmeskal

Gynmastics 3-time World Champion
Kim Zmeskal born February 6,1976 from Houston, TX is an Olympic medalist, 3-time World Champion in women's gymnastics and the 1st American to ever win the World Championships All-Around Gold Medal in 1991. Kim was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2001, and International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2012. Kim was named the “2017 USOC (United States Olympic Committee) Developmental Coach of the Year” as well as “2017 Coach of the Year”

Kim Zmeskal-Burdette (born February 6, 1976) is an American gymnast who is 3-time National All-Around Champion, 3-time World Champion, and an Olympic bronze medalist.

Early life and training

Zmeskal was born in Houston, Texas. From a young age, Zmeskal trained with coaching greats Bela and Martha Karolyi, who had bought a small gym in Zmeskal's Houston neighborhood that they expanded to produce legendary gymnastics stars.

In 1989, at the age of 13, Zmeskal became the U.S. Junior National Champion. She also took first place in the American Classic, the Swiss Cup Mixed Pairs (with Lance Ringnald), and the Arthur Gander Memorial. Zmeskal went on to become a three-time consecutive U.S. Senior National Champion. In international events, she began a rivalry with the Soviet Union's Svetlana Boginskaya.

At the 1991 World Championships in Indianapolis, Zmeskal became the first American to win the World all-around gold medal. The US took home the team silver which was a first also. Zmeskal finished this World Championships with a bronze on floor. The following year, Zmeskal collected 2 additional World titles on beam and floor.

1992 Barcelona Olympic

Having recently become world champion, Americans had high hopes for Zmeskal and the U.S. team heading into the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, with Zmeskal earning the cover of both Time and Newsweek magazines before the Games. At the Olympic Trials, Zmeskal battled an emerging Shannon Miller. Zmeskal held the highest score at both the National Championships as well as the Olympic Trials. Both young gymnasts entered the Barcelona Olympics with the highest expectations.

Zmeskal fell off the balance beam during her compulsory routine on the first night of competition. Although she would rebound with performances on the floor, vault, and bars, Zmeskal was in 32nd place after the compulsories and 5th on the American team. She would further rebound with scores of 9.912 on beam, 9.95 on vault, 9.9 on uneven bars, and a 9.925 on floor during the finals of the team competition, moving Zmeskal into 12th place and into the all-around finals competition by finishing third among the American women, narrowly defeating teammate Kerri Strug. Her combined score of 39.687, during this Olympic Team Final/ optional qualifying round was the highest of any competitor. Although there were no individual medals awarded this night, Zmeskal sights this night as her greatest personal athletic accomplishment.

After earning enough points to compete in the Olympic All-Around Final, Zmeskal would again falter during her first event, the floor exercise, stepping out of bounds, scoring a 9.775. She finished 10th in the all-around final. It was later revealed that Zmeskal was suffering from a stress fracture in her shin before the Olympics began. Zmeskal graduated from Westfield High School in 1994.

Comeback and Retirement

After continuing gymnastics in a very limited manner, performing in gymnastics exhibitions and shows, Kim attempted to comeback to compete in the 1996 Olympic Games but was unable due to a torn ACL in her right knee suffered during an exhibition floor exercise.

In 1998, Zmeskal returned to competition at the U.S. National Championships in Indianapolis. By 1999, she was considered a possibility for the 2000 Olympics team and represented the U.S. internationally. However, a ruptured achilles tendon and torn calf muscle attained training tumbling ended her career that year.

On October 23,1999, she married Chris Burdette, whom she had met when the pair were 19 years old. They wed at Karolyi's Ranch, where they had met. In 2001, Chris and Kim were hired to start Texas Dreams Gymnastics in Coppell, Texas, a gymnastics program that they have coached at since the doors opened. In 2009, they became owners of Texas Dreams Gymnastics. She has coached multiple US National Team athletes, including World Team Member Chelsea Davis, Junior All-Around National Champion Bailie Key, and 2017 US National Champion, 2016 Olympic Team alternate Ragan Smith. The Burdett’s have 3 children, 2 boys Ryder and Koda, and a daughter Riven.

Zmeskal is the first and only female American gymnast to have represented the US as a World Championships team athlete and coach.

Zmeskal was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in August 2001 and into the International Gymnast Hall of Fame in May 2012.