Figure Skating: I’m More Suited for the Olympics – Chapter 30 Restrictions

When the sub-competition in Japan began, Zhang Jue entered a state of seclusion where he couldn’t even watch TV.

Midterm exams were approaching, and as a third-year junior high student, Zhang Jue also felt the pressure of academics. With the high school entrance exam looming in the next semester, Zhang Qingyan gave her son a stern command – to continue learning figure skating. She even allowed him to take leave for training and competitions. However, if Zhang Jue’s grades were affected by figure skating, and he didn’t get into H City Third Middle School in the next semester… well, there was a sarcastic smile waiting from his mother.

After the mother’s sarcastic laughter, Zhang Jue got used to being scolded by his mother for not studying enough. However, his eavesdropping uncle had a startled reaction.

Zhang Qingyan had a delicate face, even though she was aging and hadn’t slimmed down since giving birth to Dela. She still had fair skin, and picturesque features, like a blooming lotus in a clear lake. At first glance, she seemed to be an elegant and gentle middle-aged woman, but deep down, she was an uncompromising person.

She didn’t hesitate to grab a folding chair and counterattack during domestic violence with her ex-husband. When the two were finally sent to the hospital, it was almost impossible to tell whose injuries were more severe. She also ignored her ex-husband’s kneeling pleas and a group of so-called relatives trying to mediate, decisively divorcing while holding baby Zhang Jue, who was still drinking milk.

Zhang Jue’s appearance, talent in fights, and stubborn personality were all inherited from his mother.

Zhang Junbao had always respected his elder sister. So now, the uncle was more afraid than Zhang Jue himself that he might not pass the entrance exam. Even Coach Song Cheng, who habitually inquired about Zhang Jue’s academic progress from time to time, was afraid that Zhang Jue might negligently fail the exam, prompting his mother to drag him to extra classes and causing the provincial team to lose its biggest ace.

Currently, in the J Province team, Huang Ying and Guan Lin are rising stars in pair skating. The best female single skater in the junior division, Mi Yuanyuan, belonged to the Beijing team. In the L Province team, Jin Zixuan and Lu Xiaorong carried the mantle for male and female singles in the junior division. While the H Province team took pride in Zhang Jue.

To put it bluntly, the young and old in the entire village were eagerly waiting for the child to grow up and take over the position of the national team’s top skater.

Oh, this matter is was also due to figure skating being too niche. Even top-tier schools don’t admit athletes in their programs, putting the pressure of getting into a prestigious school on the top skater, even with the training.

Zhang Jue was relatively calm about it. The high school entrance exam was next semester so there was no need to rush. Instead of Zhang Junbao staring at him while he wrote essays, he might as well stew some pork. The uncle had promised before that if Zhang Jue made it to the Grand Prix Final, he would treat him to stewed pork.

The competition in Japan ended just yesterday. Shiori Okajima successfully won the championship, with a silver and gold medal totaling 28 points, ranking second on the scoreboard. Zhang Jue was tied for third with Juventus Bratov, taking up two slots.

Anyway, Zhang Jue is now steadily advancing to the Grand Prix Final. The uncle should fulfill his promise.

Since becoming an athlete, Zhang Jue hasn’t lacked meat to eat – beef, chicken, high-protein, low-fat meats. The provincial team cafeteria was always stuffing his plate as if it didn’t cost a thing.

Normally, an adult’s daily intake of 2500 calories is sufficient, but athletes can consume tens of thousands of calories a day, 4 to 5 times that of an ordinary person.

Figure skating requires athletes to maintain a slender and elegant physique. So, Zhang Jue’s appetite wasn’t as exaggerated as athletes in swimming or ball sports. His current food intake is comparable to that of an adult male, 1.5 times, constantly rising.

If it weren’t for the scientifically healthy combination of food types and large training volumes, he might have become as round as Xu Dela due to the strong desire to replenish fat caused by excessively low body fat.

Pork belly, large elbows, these fatty and tender high-fat meats usually didn’t appear on Zhang Jue’s plate. However, people tend to crave what they can’t have, and with the desire to replenish fat strongly due to low body fat, Zhang Jue now yearns for fatty meat every day.

At lunch that day, Zhang Jue finished a large pork elbow alone, amidst the envious looks of Xudela. Even though aerobic training would be doubled after this meal, he had no regrets.

This is the happiness of growing meat through one’s own efforts, Zhang Jue felt very fortunate.

At the end of October, the International Skating Union officially announced the list of competitors for the Grand Prix Final. Song Cheng eagerly opened the official website, wearing reading glasses to search for the list of competitors in the junior men’s singles amidst a pile of English names.

Ilya Safoshenko (Russian)

Hayato Teraoka (Japanese)

Juventus Bratov (Czech)

Zhang Jue (Chinese)

Alex Testino (French)

Angus Joe (American)

The names of athletes on the International Skating Union’s official website ware written in English letters. However, before Song Cheng saw the words “Zhang Jue” he noticed the small flag behind the name.

It was red, with the brightest star on it.

This was the first time Song Cheng had seen the Chinese flag in the men’s singles final list. Even though it was in the junior category, he was extremely pleased.

He turned around and shouted: “Junbao, little Jue made it to the finals!”

Zhang Junbao held his phone, looking anxious: “I know, I know. Just a moment…”

Zhang Junbao’s phone beeped twice, and after watching for a few seconds, he visibly relaxed.

“Great! Little Jue ranked in the top three in the mid-term exams this time. My sister will definitely allow him to take leave for additional training before the finals.”

Song Cheng took a look and saw the message from Zhang Jue:

“Ranked third in the grade. Coach Shen’s tutoring is very effective. Improved by 10 points in English this time.”

Although he didn’t understand why Zhang Jue didn’t want Zhang Junbao to be mentioned as his uncle and changed it to Zhang Youbi, seeing the word “English” Song Cheng couldn’t help but sigh: “Is it a 10-point improvement in written exams?”

When Zhang Qingyan sent Zhang Jue to an intensive phonics class and oral English class when Zhang Jue was in elementary school, she spent more than twenty thousand yuan. In the end, Zhang Jue only managed to learn a bit of deaf-mute English. Conversely, he often scored full marks in the science subjects he never received extra tutoring for.

Sometimes, talent was necessary.

“Where’s Shen Liu?”

“He went to pick up little Jue from school.”

Don’t be fooled by Zhang Jue, who never attended self-study sessions in the morning or evening and frequently took leaves for competitions or occasionally got reprimanded for fighting. He was even the only person in the class to have pierced ears. At first glance, he seemed quite rebellious. However, when the midterm exam results came out, Old Zhou still showed a chrysanthemum-like smile to Zhang Jue in front of the 47 students in the class.

“Zhang Jue did really well this time, especially in chemistry, getting the only full mark in the whole grade.”

The chemistry paper this time was very difficult, and a large number of students were struggling. When they heard the words “full marks in chemistry” from Old Zhou’s mouth, those who had struggled with chemistry started banging on the tables.

“Brother Jue, awesome!”

Zhang Jue calmly stood up and bowed to those around him.

“Thank you all. I wish you all to pass all your future exams, and may you guess all the correct answers.”

“Understood, Brother Jue.”

“Thanks, Brother Jue.”

Everyone was laughing, and the classroom temporarily became an ocean of joy.

Old Zhou cleared his throat: “Zhang Jue, remember to go home and review your composition. Memorize more templates for full-mark essays. You lost 7 points in your composition this time. It shouldn’t have happened; there’s still room for improvement, little student.”

Zhang Jue has been sitting in the first row from elementary school to high school, within a distance of less than one meter. This proximity makes him the focal point of the teacher’s attention so he habitually nods obediently when called upon.

Actually, his ability to score full marks in chemistry this time was quite coincidental. There were several questions on the test paper that he had already seen in the notes provided by Qin Xuejun. The notes of the academic genius who won the gold medal in the chemistry competition were indeed extraordinary.

With help from Qin Xuejun, Zhang Jue found reviewing junior high school knowledge and previewing high school textbooks much easier. He just had to follow the train of thought in the notes.

After praising the students, Old Zhou began to give a pep talk. The main content was to remind the students to stay focused. Those who performed well should not be complacent, and those who performed poorly should not be discouraged. There was still a semester and a half before the high school entrance exam, and everyone needed to continue working hard.

For those with a significant decline in grades, based on Zhang Jue’s understanding of Old Zhou, he would probably take the opportunity during break time to have a private chat with the students in a corner where no one was around.

Even when dealing with underachievers, Old Zhou always tried to save face for the students. When Zhang Jue was a child, he didn’t notice much, but as he grew older, he realized that Old Zhou was indeed a good teacher. Not only was he good at teaching, but he also respected the thoughts of the adolescents during their puberty.

When Zhang Jue realized this, he felt embarrassed for often calling Old Zhou the Mediterranean Sea during his middle school phase.

Similarly, when Zhang Jue won the gold medal in the United States, the school principal almost wanted to hold a commendation meeting for Zhang Jue, or even send people with flowers and banners to pick him up at the airport.

Fortunately, with Old Zhou’s objections, he first called Zhang Jue to inquire about his thoughts. At that time, Zhang Jue decisively rejected the principal’s kindness, which later spared him from a lot of trouble.

He wasn’t someone who liked to show off. If Old Zhou hadn’t mentioned it, other students would have thought that Zhang Jue was always absent for training because he wanted to pursue a career as an athlete. Many students within the school took leaves for training, and there were also plenty of students in the art department who frequently requested leave. Zhang Jue didn’t seem out of place among them.

In addition, figure skating had limited popularity in the country, and even fewer people paid attention to junior competitions, so few within the school knew that Zhang Jue had already won two medals in international competitions.

Chen Sijia was one of the few who knew.

Her father was the coach of the provincial ice hockey team. He casually mentioned that the figure skating provincial team had recruited a super genius, and that’s when she learned that Zhang Jue had even participated in international competitions earlier this year.

By early December, so in just one more month, Zhang Jue would be heading to Beijing again to participate in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final held at the Capital Indoor Stadium.

That will be the top event that captures the attention of figure skating enthusiasts worldwide, and Zhang Jue was the first Chinese male singles skater to enter it!

It’s hard to imagine that such a small body contains such great energy.

Zhang Jue has excellent grades and is skilled in fighting. From the second year of junior high until now, he has written nearly ten self-criticisms due to fights. Even the head teacher would greet him familiarly, saying: “Oh, it’s Zhang Jue. Study well today and don’t get into trouble.”

However, he never bullied the weak. On the contrary, the school’s bullying groups have been beaten by him. Chen Sijia, who is pretty and introverted, used to be bullied, but since the beginning of this semester, no one dared to trouble her.

Everyone knows that in Class 1 of Grade 9, there was a big devil named Zhang Jue.

Perhaps Zhang Jue was unaware that he was quite popular within the school. Everyone thought he is cute and talented, like a prince in a fairy tale. Although he doesn’t have a white horse or a crown, he has the bravery and integrity to pierce through the darkness.

But due to growing up looking good, Zhang Jue has long been accustomed to the glances of passersby. Naturally, he is unaware that, after his reincarnation, he has become a campus celebrity once again.

Yes, Zhang Jue was now an adult, but he can still occasionally get into fights with high school kids. It’s evident that in his previous life’s rebellious phase, this guy was considered a formidable demon king by the teachers.

His antics surpassed even those of Sun Wukong causing havoc in the heavenly palace.

Because he doesn’t need to attend evening self-study sessions, Zhang Jue finishes school earlier than others. Carrying a camouflage backpack, he walks among the crowd with his coat sleeves rolled up, surrounded by teenagers in oversized school uniforms.

The cool autumn breeze carries red maple leaves across his field of vision. The school planted a large number of Norwegian red maple trees last year, and in autumn, the entire campus looks like it’s covered by a burning cloud.

In Zhang Jue’s memory, the autumn at the age of 13 was cold, desolate, filled with alcohol, gloom, campus bullying, violence, and disappointed looks from teachers.

Now, at the age of 13, things are better, and though a bit tough, he feels particularly happy.

Zhang Jue picks up a complete maple leaf, intending to use it as a bookmark.

At the school gate, there is a very worn-out little car. Shen Liu waves to Zhang Jue, who quickly hops into the driver’s seat, and a thermos cup is handed to him.

Shen Liu turns the car key, and the entire car emits a more peculiar sound than Zhang Jue’s 3F, as if an old dragon clock’s elderly gentleman is despairingly roaring.

“Today’s training volume will be relatively large. Have you drunk some protein powder? Have you taken your calcium pills and vitamins on time? Has your dad sent you to Dr. Qin’s house for acupuncture and care? He’s busy, so he asked me to pick you up…”

Shen Liu talked a lot, and Zhang Jue responded with panda-like grunts, unscrewing the cup lid and blowing on the steam.

Shen Liu sighs continuously: “Ah… I didn’t want to teach you this so early.”

Who knows that this kid would be so passionate about practicing 3F, but when it comes to 3A, he’s so agile. It’s as if he was born to jump Axel, and the training for consecutive jumps after 3A is also progressing smoothly.

“I will limit your training sessions. Train only every other day, and the number of jumps each time should not exceed 15. Train to whatever level you feel comfortable with. Even if you don’t train well, I won’t increase the training until you’re 15. You’re not allowed to practice secretly when I’m not around. That thing can cause injuries if you’re not careful. Understand?”

“Zhang Jue, speak.”

Zhang Jue reveals a docile smile: “Understood, understood.”

Seeing his appearance, Shen Liu becomes even more worried, almost regretting on the spot.

He really regrets agreeing to Zhang Jue in the first place. Why did he promise to increase this troublemaker’s training if he successfully practiced 3A+3T consecutive jumps?


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