Episode 1 was mostly about Kim & Chris, their coaching style, and why they are successful as a whole.
Kim starts off with talking about being the first World All Around Champion from the United States. She said she doesn’t remember knowing that no American woman had ever won the all around, but once it happened, it was made into a huge deal.
“I mean, I take that with the biggest amount of pride there could possibly be because I have so many idols of gymnasts that were before me. I think having perspective now on how hard it is for all of the starts to line up for something like that to happen, I’m just very proud of that moment and that whole atmosphere.” -Kim Zmeskal-Burdette, 1991 World All Around Champion
She also talks about winning the silver medal as a team in 1991 and how that changed the expectation of USA Gymnastics and how things have only shot up since then.
Kim and Chris alternate in the mornings with who goes to the gym and starts workout/conditioning, while the other stays home to get the kids ready for school.
“I think we always wanted a big elite team in our head, but we didn’t really understand what that commitment would look like.” -Chris Burdette
There’s some footage from practice of Kim coaching the girls, highlighting Kim’s relationship with her athletes and how she wants them to be comfortable talking to her.
“Kim always tells us about that she wants to be able to know how we feel and know our thoughts on things and I actually haven’t started that until recently where I was having trouble with gym and it got to the point where I was discouraged and I didn’t want to go to the gym anymore and I told her that and she told me that she understood how that happens and that it finally clicked in my mind that I’m not scared to talk to her anymore and I know that I have a strong relationship and that I can tell her anything.” -Nica Hults
“I am very honest with them - with an understanding that I’m doing them a disservice if I’m not telling them what I see. At the same time trying to remember that they’re people and they're children and you know they are going to have off days and that’s something that I feel like I’ve had to work on as I’ve gone down the coaching route.” -Kim Zmeskal-Burdette
Grace Quinn talks about being with Kim since day 1 and what an amazing coach she is.
“She’s the reason why I’m here and I’ve been here for twelve and a half years and I wouldn’t be anywhere else, she’s amazing.” -Grace Quinn
“Kim is a very structured person. She comes in here with a goal in mind and she’s determined to achieve that goal every day and that’s what I love about her. She allows me to push myself further that I believed I could ever push myself.” -Macy Toronjo
The girls talk about how funny Chris is and how he “thinks” he has a good sense of humor. He jokes with Bailie and asks her if she’s a headliner for a sea world show haha. He says he’s gonna throw her a fish every time she does a vault like the ones she was doing.
Chris talked about him and Kim have different coaching styles, but compliment each other very well. At the gym, Kim is the structured one, but at home, she’s very laid back about everything. Chris is exactly the opposite - very straight forward with their kids at home, but more relaxed in the gym while still striving to reach their goals. He says it’s a balance between the two of them and they fill in each others gaps where they’re more relaxed and strict, because if they were both the same way, it would be too much, both at home and at the gym.
Kim talks about how she loves coaching all four events, along with strength, flexibility, and dance, but Chris is more specific and loves bars and vault, along with some floor. He doesn’t overstep the boundaries into Kim’s areas of expertise.
“Chris and I have definitely taken a lot of what we learned - what was normal for me growing up and for Chris as he came in as a coach, from Karolyi’s but we are certainly not - Chris and I are not Martha and Bela. I mean we don’t have their background, we don’t have their history, so the environment is I think lighter than what it was for me growing up.” -Kim Zmeskal-Burdette
Kim also discusses how the girls have to understand that there are times to work and times to joke around and tell funny stories. They put a lot of emphasis on keeping things playful and wanting to be happy, but the girls have to keep in mind how to zone back in and get to work.
Nica talks about something Chris always tells the girls - he says that if you were jogging around a track, you’d have a longer time alone than if you were jogging with a group because the group makes you push yourself and want to go faster. Nica compares it to the atmosphere in their gym because you can always look over your shoulder and doing something better than the next girl, so it pushes all of them to be better.
“Well we push each other in a good way - as friends - and we always have that competitiveness in us, so we’re always competitive with each other but we’re doing it to help each other.” -Grace Quinn
“The competition aspect of our program in particular has been something that I don’t know how much Kim pushes it, but I do know that for me, competing against someone and seeing somebody across the gym doing something better - that has an impact. The theory is - if you have that - that fire inside you, that competitive spirit, then all I have to do is teach one tkatchev - the other five will learn it that day. You just gotta get that first kid to do it and once the first kid does it, the other five say I’m not gonna let that kid do it and not me.” -Chris Burdette
The episode wraps up with Kim talking about how she loved being a gymnast and how she never got tired of her lifestyle - wake up, gymnastics, school, gymnastics, sleep… She said if she got the opportunity to do one thing again, it would be to do a floor routine and compete a double layout again.
“These are friendships that these girls are making that will be a lifetime and they’re doing things that are so abnormal and to such a high level, that there’s a bond that’s like no other.” -Kim Zmeskal-Burdette
I thought it was a really well put together episode and I can’t wait for the other three to come out. I obviously didn’t cover every single thing that was said in the episode, so if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask!
Katelyn Ohashi, Sabrina Vega, Kyla Ross, Amelia Hundley, Rachel Gowey, Maggie Nichols, Brenna Dowell, Lexie Priessman, Sarah Finnegan, Madison Desch, Felicia Hano, Mykayla Skinner, possibly Madison Kocian and Nica Hults AND SO MANY MORE IM SO EXCITED FOR NCAA THIS YEAR 😭