Zmeskal at the 1992 Olympic Games
Kimberly Lynn Zmeskal Burdette
February 6 1976
Years on National Team
Karolyi's Gymnastics, Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, Texas Dreams Gymnastics (coach)
Bela & Marta Karolyi, Mary Lee Tracy
Early Life and Training
Zmeskal was born in Houston, Texas. From a young age, Zmeskal trained with coaching great Béla Károlyi, who had bought a run-down gym in Zmeskal's Houston, Texas neighborhood. This gave Zmeskal the opportunity to observe and interact with her heroine, Mary Lou Retton.
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. National Champion. In international events, she began a rivalry with the Soviet Union's Svetlana Boginskaya.
1992 Barcelona Olympics
At the World Championships in 1991 in Indianapolis, the team silver medal was a first for the Americans, and Zmeskal became the first American to achieve the World All-Around gold medal. So, Americans had high hopes for Zmeskal and the U.S. team heading the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, with Zmeskal earning the cover of both Time and Newsweek magazines before the Games. In the U.S. National Championships and Olympic Trials, Zmeskal battled an emerging Shannon Miller, with Miller defeating Zmeskal at the Trials.
Zmeskal disappointed at the Games, falling 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 impressive 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 competition by finishing third among the American women. Her combined score of 39.687 for the night was the highest of any competitor.
Although earning enough points to compete in the all-around competition, Zmeskal would again falter during her first event, the floor exercise, stepping out of bounds. It would later be revealed that Zmeskal was suffering from a stress fracture in her ankle before the Olympics began.
Comeback and Retirement
Any dreams for a comeback to compete in the 1996 Olympic Games would be dashed due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee suffered during a floor exercise.
In 1998, Zmeskal returned to competition with a decent showing at the U.S. National Championships in Indianapolis. By 1999, she was even considered a possibility for the 2000 Olympics team and represented the U.S. internationally. However, a torn Achilles tendon on a double tuck on floor ended her career that year.
Zmeskal and her husband Chris Burdette now work as coaches at their own gym, Texas Dreams Gymnastics. The gym has seen many of the country's top elite gymnasts including Chelsea Davis, Bailie Key (currently attending), Kennedy Baker and Nica Hults (also attending).
|1988||Junior U.S. Classic||17|
|1989||Junior National Championships||1st|
|Junior American Classic||1st|
|Junior U.S. Classic||1st|
|Swiss Cup Zurich||1st|
|Arthur Gander Memorial||1st|
|Arthur Gander Memorial||3rd|
|International Mixed Pairs||1st|
|International Mixed Pairs||1st|
|Indianapolis World Championships||2nd||1st||7||3rd|
|Paris World Championships||1st||1st|
|U.S. Olympic Trials||2nd|
|Barcelona Olympic Games||3rd||10||8||6|
|John Hancock Championships||11|
1992 - "Rock Around the Clock"
|World All-Around Champions|
|Vlasta Děkanová • Helena Rakoczy • Galina Rudko • Larisa Latynina • Věra Čáslavská • Ludmilla Tourischeva • Elena Mukhina • Nellie Kim • Olga Bicherova • Natalia Yurchenko • Elena Shushunova | Oksana Omelianchik • Aurelia Dobre • Svetlana Boginskaya • Kim Zmeskal • Shannon Miller • Lilia Podkopayeva • Svetlana Khorkina • Maria Olaru • Svetlana Khorkina • Chellsie Memmel • Vanessa Ferrari • Shawn Johnson • Bridget Sloan • Aliya Mustafina • Jordyn Wieber • Simone Biles • Morgan Hurd • Simone Biles|
|World Balance Beam Champions|
|Vlasta Děkanová • Helena Rakoczy • Keiko Tanaka • Larisa Latynina • Eva Bosáková • Natalia Kuchinskaya • Erika Zuchold • Nellie Kim • Ludmilla Tourischeva • Nadia Comăneci • Vera Cerna • Maxi Gnauck • Olga Mostepanova • Daniela Silivaş • Aurelia Dobre • Daniela Silivaş • Svetlana Boginskaya • Kim Zmeskal • Lavinia Miloşovici • Shannon Miller • Mo Huilan • Dina Kochetkova • Gina Gogean • Ling Jie • Andreea Răducan • Ashley Postell • Fan Ye • Nastia Liukin • Iryna Krasnianska • Nastia Liukin • Deng Linlin • Ana Porgras • Sui Lu • Aliya Mustafina • Simone Biles • Pauline Schaefer • Liu Tingting|
|World Floor Exercise Champions|
|Matylda Pálfyová • Helena Rakoczy • Tamara Manina • Eva Bosáková • Larisa Latynina • Natalia Kuchinskaya • Ludmilla Tourischeva • Nellie Kim | Elena Mukhina • Emilia Eberle • Natalia Ilienko • Ecaterina Szabo • Oksana Omelianchik • Daniela Silivaş | Elena Shushunova • Daniela Silivaş | Svetlana Boginskaya • Cristina Bontaş • Kim Zmeskal • Shannon Miller • Dina Kochetkova • Gina Gogean • Gina Gogean | Kui Yuanyuan • Gina Gogean • Andreea Răducan • Elena Gómez • Daiane Dos Santos • Alicia Sacramone • Cheng Fei • Shawn Johnson • Beth Tweddle • Lauren Mitchell • Ksenia Afanasyeva • Simone Biles • Mai Murakami • Simone Biles|
|U.S. National Champions|
|Donna Schanezer | Muriel Grossfeld • Marie Walther • Gail Daley | Doris Fuchs • Donna Schanezer | Linda Metheny • Carolyn Hacker • Linda Scott | Linda Metheny • Joyce Tanac • Cathy Rigby | Linda Metheny • Joan Moore Gnat | Cathy Rigby • Joan Moore Gnat • Tammy Manville • Denise Cheshire | Robin Huebner • Donna Turnbow • Kathy Johnson • Leslie Pyfer • Julianne McNamara • Tracee Talavera • Dianne Durham • Mary Lou Retton • Sabrina Mar • Jennifer Sey • Kristie Phillips • Phoebe Mills • Brandy Johnson • Kim Zmeskal • Shannon Miller • Dominique Dawes • Dominique Moceanu • Shannon Miller • Vanessa Atler | Kristy Powell • Kristen Maloney • Elise Ray • Tasha Schwikert • Courtney Kupets • Courtney Kupets | Carly Patterson • Nastia Liukin • Shawn Johnson • Bridget Sloan • Rebecca Bross • Jordyn Wieber • Simone Biles • Ragan Smith • Simone Biles|
|U.S. Classic Champions|
Diane Durham • Tracee Talavera • Sabrina Mar • Doe Yamashiro • Phoebe Mills • Juliet Bangerter • Agnia Simpkins • Kim Kelly • Wendy Bruce • Dominique Dawes • Amanda Borden • Jaycie Phelps • Jennie Thompson • Lindsay Wing • Jennie Thompson • Sierra Sapunar • Vanessa Atler • Tasha Schwikert • Annia Hatch • Courtney Kupets • Tia Orlando • Nastia Liukin • Natasha Kelley | Ashley Priess • Bridget Sloan • Ashley Stott • Olivia Courtney • Mattie Larson • Aly Raisman • Kyla Ross • Simone Biles • Aly Raisman • Alyona Shchennikova • Simone Biles
Tracey Butler • Susie Silverman • Jennifer Barton • Sheryl Dundas | Catherine Williams • Juliet Bangerter | Shannon Miller • Kim Zmeskal | Laura Segundo • Larissa Fontaine | Amy Shelton • Anne Woynerowsky | Judy Esmero • Kristy Powell | Doni Thompson • Kristi Lichey • Katie Teft • Robin Phelps • Kristin Jensen • Kristin Thome • Morgan White • Kristal Uzelac • Carly Patterson • Nastia Liukin • Ashley Priess • Shawn Johnson • Rheagan Courville • Jordyn Wieber • Kyla Ross • Jordyn Wieber • Kyla Ross • Simone Biles • Bailie Key • Jordan Chiles • Laurie Hernandez • Irina Alexeeva • Emma Malabuyo
|American Cup Champions|
|Nadia Comăneci • Kathy Johnson • Natalia Tereschenko • Stella Zakharova • Tracee Talavera • Julianne McNamara • Mary Lou Retton • Kristie Phillips • Phoebe Mills • Brandy Johnson • Kim Zmeskal • Betty Okino • Kim Zmeskal • Shannon Miller • Dominique Dawes • Kristy Powell • Kerri Strug • Elvire Teza • Viktoria Karpenko • Jennie Thompson • Elena Produnova • Elena Zamolodchikova • Tasha Schwikert • Carly Patterson • Alicia Sacramone (VT) | Chellsie Memmel (UB) | Zhang Nan-Nastia Liukin (BB) | Patricia Moreno (FX) • Nastia Liukin • Shawn Johnson • Nastia Liukin • Jordyn Wieber • Rebecca Bross • Jordyn Wieber • Katelyn Ohashi • Elizabeth Price • Simone Biles • Gabby Douglas • Ragan Smith • Morgan Hurd|