Kim Zmeskal took center stage in the sport of women’s artistic gymnastics early on. From a young age, she trained with the coaching dream team of Béla and Márta Károlyi, who had bought a gym in her Houston, Texas neighborhood. There, she had the chance to observe and interact with her idol, Mary Lou Retton.
Kim later became famous in her own right when she became the first American woman to become All-Around World Champion in 1991. Until then, the United States had yet to produce a gymnastics world champion, male or female, and 15 year old Kim made history. This awesome feat established the United States as a gymnastics superpower and opened the door for future American gymnastics stars.
Kim was the U.S. National Champion in the senior division three years in a row from 1990‑1992. At the 1992 World Championships in Paris, Kim captured individual Gold on both Beam and Floor. Later that same year, Kim was a member of the Bronze Medal winning Olympic Team in Barcelona, where she also achieved the highest optional score of any gymnast at the Games. Kim spent the next few years after Barcelona touring and competing professionally.
Kim was ready to return to training so a move to Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy and a new coach in Mary Lee Tracy was next in preparation for the 2000 Olympics. Unfortunately, a serious injury would dash her Olympic dreams. Kim kept any pity at arm’s length saying, “It was all worth it. I've been on top of the world and I've been on crutches learning to walk. I've experienced success and heartache. I've learned how to stay humble in good times and motivated in desperate times.”
Kim’s inspiration for the design of her 2012 GK Legends Collection Leotard came from the logo design of the 1991 World Championships. Kim said, “During that competition, I experienced the highest of highs with an amazing American audience cheering me and my teammates on all the way! Winning the All-Around title and toppling the Romanians for a Team Silver are tremendous memories that have not faded one bit! The color blue, besides being a favorite of mine, is synonymous with being the best, which is a constant, driving force in my life."
In 2001, Kim moved back home to Texas determined to open her own gym and move on to coaching. Today, Kim and her husband, Coach Chris Burdette, continue her gymnastics legacy at their Texas Dreams Gymnastics facility and host the annual Texas Prime Meet. The meet brings out riveting competition, but by far, the most anticipated event is the Legendz Classic. Legendz is an energy-packed, 2-hour event that features three Olympic gymnasts as team captains for the top Level 9/10 elite gymnasts in the previous sessions.
Out of the gym, Kim is a proud mom to three children, sons Ryder and Koda and daughter Riven Belle. Kim was inducted into the Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2001 and remains a sought after motivational speaker, sharing her memories, her perseverance, and her ambitions with the rest of the world. Kim also serves as a Brevet womens gymnastics judge.
GK. Choice of Champions.