Figure Skating: I’m More Suited for the Olympics – Chapter 33 – Misspelling

“CCTV, CCTV, this is the live broadcast of the 2010 Figure Skating Grand Prix Final. After intense competition in the qualifying rounds, the top skaters in the four figure skating disciplines have gathered for the final. Currently underway is the short program competition for junior ladies’ singles. Next to perform is Italy’s Mara Serlova, and her program is titled ‘Revolving.'”

Chen Sijia sat shoulder to shoulder with her father in the audience, not far from the CCTV commentators providing live commentary.

As the music played, a girl dressed like a pink butterfly danced on the ice.

This year’s junior ladies’ singles competition could be metaphorically described with colors as five white and one yellow. Two European skaters, two Russian skaters, one North American, with five fair-haired and light-eyed Caucasian girls surrounding one Japanese girl, Shiroye Zuo.

However, the one with the highest winning odds was precisely Shiroye Zuo. She possessed the formidable ability to execute a triple-triple combination, a lethal weapon for ladies’ singles. In the previous qualifying round in Japan, she landed a 3F+3T with a base value as high as 10.4. Just in terms of technical score, she outshone others.

Not to mention there’s a common saying in the figure skating world regarding ladies’ singles—Russians excel in jumps, Japanese excel in skating, and European-American skaters score high in presentation.

The first two sentences talk about the characteristics of Russian and Japanese ladies’ singles skaters. As for the presentation score of European and American skaters… well, it’s not that there aren’t strong contenders, but it’s common knowledge that athletes from Europe and America receive favorable judgment from the referees at an equivalent level.

Those who skate well also synchronize better with the music, making their performance score more visually appealing. Combined with the delicate performance style unique to Japanese figure skaters, compared to her still inexperienced competitors, Shiroye Zuo was already an athlete at the first-tier level in terms of both technical and performance skills. Without any surprises, she would move up to the senior category next year.

Chen Sijia’s father sighed: “Ever since Chen Zhu retired, we haven’t had any ladies’ singles skater make it to the Grand Prix Final for how many years?”

Chen Sijia held a camera, eyes filled with anticipation: “What about other events? Are there any finalists?”

This time, there were five Chinese skaters who made it to the Grand Prix Final. In pairs, both the senior and junior categories had a pair, and then there was Zhang Jue in junior men’s singles.

Chen’s father looked helpless: “If it weren’t for them, do you think I would spend money to watch it live?”

Just then, CCTV reporter Shu Feng entered the backstage warming-up area with a microphone.

Speaking clearly, he said: “Everyone, this is the athlete warm-up area at the Capital Gymnasium. The six junior men’s singles skaters who will soon be on stage are all here. Among them is our young talent, Zhang Jue, who, in the U.S. qualifying round, completed the world’s first Bellman rotation in men’s singles.”

The camera crew didn’t enter the warming-up room, only using the camera to focus on the young people warming up.

Ilya, with blond hair and blue eyes, was doing land jumps. His jumps were terrifyingly high; a 15-year-old could jump over 60 centimeters after a run-up, making a resounding thud when landing, full of presence.

When the camera captured this scene, the live viewers’ hearts jumped. Bang, bang, this handsome guy can really jump.

Hayato Teraoka wore headphones, reviewing his short program steps at the other end of the warming-up room. Alex stretched, Juventus rode an exercise bike, Angus Joe jumped rope.

There were almost no idle people in the warming-up room, except for Zhang Jue’s distinctive style – the kid sat on a yoga ball, expressionless, eating a banana.

“The best time to eat a banana is 15 to 20 minutes before the competition. If you eat a banana and immediately engage in vigorous exercise, it can be a huge challenge to the stomach. Zhang Jue did this before and ended up vomiting on the ice. Since then, the provincial team members have always thought he was a kid with a delicate stomach.

But Zhang Jue thinks his stomach is still okay. Some athletes get nervous and have diarrhea before the competition, a condition known as irritable bowel syndrome. Zhang Jue not only doesn’t experience diarrhea, but he also tends to feel hungry before the competition.

Shu Feng keenly noticed that the kid’s hairstyle was different from the qualifying rounds.

As Zhang Jue’s hair grows relatively fast, but the time he has kept his hair long is only a few months, the length is still limited. The ponytail cannot be tied up, and it doesn’t match the black feather decoration the designer put on him. But if it’s not tied up, Zhang Junbao was afraid the hair would stick to Zhang Jue’s eyes.

Shen Liu simply called Madam Mia for remote guidance. The suggestion given by Madam Mia was to twist the part of the hair that might stick to the face into a small twist, fix it with a hairpin, and use hair gel to style the remaining hair.

Rubber bands and hairpins had, Zhang Jue’s mother bought them. They also had hair gel, and Yao Lan, the male partner in the senior pairs figure skating, used it every time before going on stage. Yao Lan did Zhang Jue’s hairstyle since both Uncle Yao and Shen Liu don’t know how to comb a child’s hair.

After the styling by the “Brother Yao” of the pair figure skating, the current Black Swan looked even more cold, aggressive, with a fairy appearance but full of attack power.

If it weren’t for Zhang Jue sitting on the ball, looking cute with his mouth puffed up, it would be almost perfect to say he is a celestial being with an aggressive charm.

Seeing Shu Feng’s figure, Yao Lan’s eyes lit up: “Shu Fen! You’re here!”

Shu Feng: “I’m Shu Feng.”

Not Shu Fen.

Yao Lan warmly approached and patted his shoulder, introducing him to everyone: “Shu Fen is a veteran journalist with excellent skills, never speaking nonsense or spreading rumors. Sun Zhi especially likes him.”

Journalist Shu Feng remained silent for a moment and changed the topic: “I came specifically to interview Shen Liu. It’s been a long time since we last met, especially after his retirement.”

Shen Liu graciously stepped forward and shook hands with Shu Feng: “It has indeed been a long time.”

Especially for Shen Liu, as the former leading figure in figure skating, he had loyal fans. Many fans were puzzled as to who Zhang Jue was and why the former top skater would choose to stay around him even without the title of head coach.

Shu… Shu Feng held the microphone: “Now we all know that Zhang Jue is a highly talented kid. However, when you decided to coach Zhang Jue, he had not yet demonstrated his strength in domestic competitions. Can you tell us why you made this decision?”

Shen Liu smiled faintly and recounted the incident where he was amazed by Zhang Jue jump during the National Championship.

Recalling those past events, Shen Liu sighed: “Actually, I wasn’t planning to become a coach. But Zhang Jue showed me a glimmer of hope. I believe our men’s singles can achieve better results internationally, so I decided to help Zhang Jue grow better.”

It could be said that before departing for H province, 24-year-old Shen Liu had already decided to invest at least the next 10 years of his life, spending his best years on Zhang Jue, to strive for a bright future for Chinese men’s singles.

Shen Liu looked into the camera earnestly: “Zhang Jue is a very hardworking kid. I hope everyone will support him.”

Shu Feng sighed: “Hearing you say that, I feel like Zhang Jue is just like the male protagonist in a passionate sports anime. The former national team number one men’s singles player, after retiring, chose to become a coach.”

The queen of ladies’ singles, Jin Meng, echoed: “Zhang Jue also looks very anime-like. The first time I saw Zhang Jue up close, I was shocked. I never expected to see such a handsome guy in real life. Huang Ying said he’s like a manga character coming to life…”

Jin Meng and Yao Lan are also about to retire, and at this time, they spare no effort to mention the names of their juniors in front of the camera, hoping to bring more popularity to them. It’s a heartfelt effort.

The older generation will always exit the stage, and the future depends on these kids.

Shu Feng can deeply understand the feelings of these old figure skaters and, in collaboration, asked many questions about Huang Ying, Guan Lin, and Zhang Jue.

Zhang Jue silently did a final set of stretches, and someone whispered: “It’s about to start.”

The ladies’ singles short program has ended, and the competition ice rink has already started its maintenance. The athletes are now heading to the backstage area, waiting for the moment when the ice surface is smoothed, to go on the ice for the six-minute warm-up before the competition.

Passing through the long athlete tunnel, at the end, there are flashing magnesium lights, and the roaring crowd enters the ears, making Zhang Jue somewhat trance.

This is the Capital Gymnasium, which can accommodate tens of thousands of spectators. The stands are filled with figure skating fans from all over the world. They speak different languages but watch the athletes with the same hopeful eyes.

As the final destination of this A-level event, the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final gathers the attention of figure skating enthusiasts from all over the world.

When participating in “Dream Boys 307,” Zhang Jue also fantasized about what kind of performance he would deliver if he had the opportunity to debut and be on the grand stage with thousands of people watching.

And now, this grand stage is already in front of him. In an unexpected way, he died, came back to life, learned figure skating with his Uncle Shen, and skated on the top-level competition stage.

Six young men from the junior men’s singles sequentially glided onto the ice, with Ilya leading. The broadcast first called out the name of this genius boy who entered the final with two gold medals.

“Representing Russia, Ilya Safoshenko.”

Almost all European and American Russian figure skating fans in the audience cheered, indicating Safoshenko high popularity.

Next is Hayato Teraoka.

“Representing Japan, Hayato Teraoka.”

Teraoka was a handsome and clean-looking young man. The applause and cheers from the audience, especially the “Dry Daddy” chants, did not stop after his appearance.

Zhang Jue and Juventus Bratov had the same score, both entering the final with 1 gold and 1 bronze. However, the organizers surely introduced their own athlete first, so the third one to be introduced was Zhang Jue.

When his name was broadcast, with his typical Chinese name and the exquisite face of an Asian boy, the local audience immediately applaud enthusiastically.

Regardless of whether you know Zhang Jue or not, since he is a fellow countryman, just support him!

Shi Mosheng watched Zhang Jue’s figure with envy. Then he saw Fan Zhaoying next to him suddenly stand up. First, he staggered a bit, then put his hands by his mouth and shouted.

“Zhang Jue! Go for it!”

Zhang Jue glanced in that direction, instantly breaking into a big smile. He waved towards them, and his whole being seemed to leap with joy because of this cheering.

He recognized them.

Unable to resist, Shi Mosheng also stood up, shouting at the top of his lungs: “Zhang Jue, go for it!”

The CCTV broadcaster glanced in their direction, showing satisfaction on his face: “Are these young athletes from other provincial teams? Looks like they get along well with Zhang Jue.”

Ah, this is youth and friendship.

He said to his colleague: “Xiao Wang, turn the camera over there and film them. Figure skating fans will surely be delighted to see this.”

At this moment, Jin Zixuan and his teammate, junior ladies’ singles, Lu Xiaorong, unfolded a red banner together. On it were four big characters.

“Zhang Yue, go for it.”

But strangely, after seeing this banner, Zhang Jue, who was waving happily, paused, showing a stunned expression. Then, he silently turned and continued skating.

Mi Yuanyuan, from the Beijing team’s junior ladies’ singles, looked puzzled. “Hey, why is he ignoring us now?”

Fan Zhaoying, looking at the banner, slapped her thigh. “Damn! Who made this banner? Such a big typo. Quickly put it away, don’t embarrass us!”

A group of boys and girls scrambled to stack up the banner and stuff it into their bags, leaving Lu Xiaorong quite confused.

“I made this banner, why is it wrong?” she wondered.

Jin Zixuan showed a frustrated expression, vehemently poking Lu Xiaorong forehead.

“Hey! You clueless girl! This character has the ‘‘ (jīn) radical; it’s pronounced ‘yù’! Zhang Jue’s ‘‘ has the ‘‘ (wáng) radical!”

Shi Mosheng held back Jin Zixuan’s hand and said in an elusive tone: “E-everyone, it seems like we’ve embarrassed ourselves in front of figure skating fans worldwide.”

On the large screen above the venue, their images were being broadcast, and a group of kids, looking up, collectively froze.

W-wait, how long has the camera been on us?


Edited by:



Support translation:

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