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Kim Zmeskal-Burdette gets called out ( #gymnastalliance )

MLSWAG

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I had wanted to attach this post to the thread that just got locked. But...it got locked. It does seem like it wasn't the only abuse thread, though.

Kim Zmeskal Burdette, the gymnast that got me into watching this sport, has been called out by Ashton Kim, a long-time former elite at Kim and Chris' gym, Texas Dreams. Looks like she's gone through a massive list of injuries by any standard, and been subject to vicious yelling and racial abuse by them both. And it's becoming a pretty long thread, here, and there's one on Reddit as well.

I really looked up to her growing up. I wonder what all happened? I wonder what her parents were really like (I've seen a fluff documentary that had them. It made them seem great, like she was, with reason, in control.


I guess Google this if you don't have Twitter.

ETA: nm. This forum shows tweets.
 

Pineapple_Lump

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Several people have said that Kim was particularly unkind until she had her own kids,. She had personal success under the Karolyi method so hardly surprising that she would use those methods.
The gyms ability to pace athletes and manage injury has also be brought into question. They have a reputation for the top gymnasts never being healthy by the time they should be peaking. The fact that Ragan was able to compete in the qualification round of a world championship shocked many long term fans - the fact that she was not able to proceed due to injury didn't.
 

Empowered

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Not just Ashton speaking out about Texas Dreams (aka Texas Nightmares) now. Kennedy Baker and other gymnasts are speaking out as well.

The entire mentality behind training in this sport need to be recreated. And USAG needs to be burned and buried in the backyard.

This behavior is learned and it’s appalling. There is no excuse for it and winning is NOT worth it.
 

gymjunkie

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Several people have said that Kim was particularly unkind until she had her own kids,. She had personal success under the Karolyi method so hardly surprising that she would use those methods.
I have a vague memory of Kim being the first gymnast to criticize Dominique Moceanu and stick up for the Karolyis when she first came forth with accusations of abuse.
 
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GAgymmom

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Not just Ashton speaking out about Texas Dreams (aka Texas Nightmares) now. Kennedy Baker and other gymnasts are speaking out as well.

The entire mentality behind training in this sport need to be recreated. And USAG needs to be burned and buried in the backyard.

This behavior is learned and it’s appalling. There is no excuse for it and winning is NOT worth it.
USAG has mostly new leadership and they are fixing things. The new president is very positive and has great vision and revisions for the future. If people aren’t allowed to change and move on from mistakes, then no one can ever move past their past. I’m not excusing abuse, or any other accusation, I’m just saying USAG doesn’t need to be burned and buried. Learn from the past and avoid it in the future; that’s the premise for life in general.
 

lostinfog

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I believe Flo is talking about the one that was locked about reporting emotional abuse. Just visited the gymnastics alliance hashtag to read some other former teammates at TD and very proud of these young ladies to have the courage to come forward.

It’s been no secret that the TD athletes are completely broken before they hit senior level. I’m thinking about Davis, Ernst, Key, Smith, Malabuyo, Walker etc actually made Worlds and Prelims in 2017. What could have been for these young ladies, something is not working at TD. Perhaps they give more gymnasts the chance for Elite and have many more training Elite there than the other gyms. It would stand to reason there could be more “known” injured outs.

I read long ago about the trash cans around the gym for girls to throw up in due to the conditioning. I also watched a 2min clip of Chris during training and I don’t think his sarcastic and belittling methods I could approve of for my daughters. These girls will think it’s normal for a male figure to speak to them this way. As a whole I’ve never really heard anything negative regarding Kim but knowing the system she came up through this is not shocking at all.
 
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gymjunkie

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The other thread is the one I started where I pondered when athletes and their families will feel protected enough to make reports while they are still competing. We are nowhere near that place. We are in a place where athletes are calling out their coaches long after the abuse has taken place. That's actually an improvement because for the longest time even doing that was not okay. Jennifer Sey and Domonique Moceanu were not called heroes when their books first came out. It was quite the opposite in the coaching community (and many of their former teammates also condemned them). To put it in perspective, the book Little Girls in Pretty Boxes came out 25 years ago. So in 25 years we now have an environment where it's finally okay to reveal past abuse. Will it take another 25 years before an athlete feels safe enough to make the report while they are still active in the sport? If so that's not okay, but how do we change it? When the initial lawsuit against Nassar was filed (way before it was revealed there were hundreds of survivors), I know of far too many older (but active) coaches who first reacted by saying they assumed it was a sour grapes kind of lawsuit on the part of the athletes. Their knee jerk reaction was still to blame the victim. Athletes know this and so do their families.
 

kecks

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...trashcans to throw up in are not abuse or a sign thereof. throwing up is comon place if you train speed or explosive endurance which a gymnast needs. think floor exercise. there is no known way to my knowledge to train this without going to a place that hurts. vomiting is for most athletes part of this experience. usually trowing up helps and makes the pain go away faster. keep in mind this shoud be done only with athletes of a higher training age (few years of competitve training at least), a good aerobic base to help them regenerate fast after and also not with kids since they are too young to understand what is happening and what such "good pain" differentiates from "bad pain" f.e. overuse or injury related pains. also this should not be done too often. in track we limit it to once a week.
 

kecks

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never anyone did the 200, 400m or 800m or trained for those? the bush is your friend they say in track... healthy? well, competitive sports are usually not that healthy. this is not fitness. nevertheless routinely having young kids (!) throwing up all over the place as the multiple trash cans indicate seems definitly not okay to me. to me it sounds like texas dreams just went overboard with everything they did. no wonder their gymnasts tend to be burned out reaching senior age.
 
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Empowered

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USAG has mostly new leadership and they are fixing things. The new president is very positive and has great vision and revisions for the future. If people aren’t allowed to change and move on from mistakes, then no one can ever move past their past. I’m not excusing abuse, or any other accusation, I’m just saying USAG doesn’t need to be burned and buried. Learn from the past and avoid it in the future; that’s the premise for life in general.

Agree to disagree. USAG is still guided by the same broken priorities. Win at all costs. The athletes are disposable.

They’ve fixed nothing. They’ve allowed no independent investigation.