Figure Skating: I’m More Suited for the Olympics – Chapter 39 Pajamas

At the moment when Zhang Jue’s scores came out, Sun Qian immediately shook hands with those around him. Many people congratulated him, and Sun Qian accepted the congratulations with a smile.

Jiang Chaosheng exclaimed happily: “This is the first medal in the overall finals for our men’s singles in the country. Congratulations to Zhang Jue for creating a new history in his first year in the junior category.”

Zhao Ning, with a smile, added: “Yes, congratulations to Zhang Jue. This 13-year-old young talent is really strong. I believe he will continue to achieve great results in the future.”

Jin Zixuan, Fan Zhaoying, Shi Mousheng, Mi Yuanyuan, Lu Xiaorong and the other mainstays of the domestic youth division all jumped up and down in excitement.

Great! Someone from Tucun Men’s Singles has finally stepped onto the podium of the overall finals!

Mi Yuanyuan, panting heavily, covered her chest and said: “I was so scared. When I saw him flipping, I almost thought Zhang Jue was going to fall, but luckily, he reacted quickly.”

Shi Mosheng, full of admiration, said: “He has improved so quickly. In the test match, the most advanced jump was still the 3Lz+3T, and now he can do a 3A. Did you see? In the end, he even added a 4th level with a bow and a Beillmann spin!”

The 4th level is the highest rating for spins and footwork, usually exclusive to top international athletes. From the beginning of Zhang Jue’s formal competition until now, his spins and footwork have always been at levels 2 and 3, but today marks a significant breakthrough.

However, for kids like Shi Mosheng who haven’t even made it to the international stage, a level 3 spin and footwork are already impressive, and level 4 is considered godly.

Zhang Jue’s achievement in his first year in the junior category must have delighted the leaders.

Jin Zixuan sat quietly in his seat. Fan Zhaoying asked him: “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I just feel…” Jin Zixuan smiled bitterly: “I just feel that competitive sports are indeed the domain of geniuses. I used to rely on talent to surpass others. Even with a poor mindset and you pressuring me from above, I never felt I couldn’t reach a higher position.”

Fan Zhaoying added: “But now, there’s Zhang Jue with even higher talent. You realize you can’t stay in your comfort zone and adjust your mindset slowly anymore.”

Zhang Jue is progressing so fast that if Jin Zixuan doesn’t strive harder, he might not even catch a glimpse of his back.

Seeing Jin Zixuan silent, Fan Zhaoying consoled him in a gentle tone: “Relax, as you said, this field belongs to geniuses. When a group of geniuses competes, in the end, it depends on who works harder. Look at Zhang Jue, he’s only 13 years old, and he achieved so much this time. He even took painkillers before going on stage. Athletes like him face many challenges in competitive events.”

Everyone is an athlete within the system, and Zhang Jue’s participation with an injury is not a secret. The one-handed Beillmann spin he performed at level 4 was pulled off under such circumstances.

The painkillers didn’t hold up.

Back to the familiar yoga mat, back to the familiar ice pack. Zhang Jue lay down, and his uncle knelt beside him, relaxing the muscles of his thighs and calves, muttering continuously.

“Look at your little waist, unlucky child, 13 years old and already has a lumbar muscle strain. How are you going to handle it in the future? For the next two weeks, don’t train, rest at home, and heal the injury, it’s the most important.”

Zhang Jue lay down, a straw in his mouth, and when he sucked, the warm chocolate entered his mouth. The warmth and sugar made him enjoy it to the fullest, and his tone of speech became soft.

“But in a month, I have to compete in the All-China Games. If I rest for half a month now, what should I do about the impact on my condition for the All-China Games?”

He remembered that the results of the All-China Games were quite important for the provincial team. The leaders hoped that their athletes would achieve good results. Coach Song has always taken care of him. Zhang Jue really didn’t want to let him down in such an important competition.

Shen Liu took off the child’s shoes and massaged his feet. In a kind tone, he said: “If you don’t take good care of yourself, it might even affect your condition for the World Youth Games. Compared to domestic gold medals, I think Coach Song would rather see you bring home a gold medal from an A-level event.”

In fact, Shen Liu also wanted to say that Zhang Jue is an unlucky child. Look at him, he either faints or gets a fever every time he competes, or he has a back injury. If you calculate it carefully, the only time he competed in full condition was the test match and the short program the day before yesterday.

Oh right, the short program he performed at full capacity, but in the end, he made a slight mistake. It’s no wonder many people say that Zhang Jue lacks stability, but even with a mistake, this kid almost broke the record with such high configuration.

That’s right, he was in full form for the short program but ended up making a slight mistake. No wonder many people said that Zhang Jue’s stability was not good, but even with his mistake, the kid almost broke the record with his high performance.

Jiangshi Shou (Coach) talked to Zhang Jue: “You did well, but you need to pay attention to your health. If you continue like this, you may have a bigger problem in the future.”

Sports and injuries are always inseparable because all sports challenges the limits of the human body. As an Olympic champion once said, even with a condition that can break world records, it is difficult to guarantee winning gold because while you are pushing the limits, your opponents are also pushing theirs.

Many top athletes who aim for championship titles prepare to break world records during training. Zhang Jue’s peak condition was all aimed at breaking records, just a bit lacking in luck.

This is fate. Since Zhang Jue drew the worst lot every time, Shen Liu stopped expecting good luck for him. Now all he can do is support Zhang Junbao and ensure that Zhang Jue rests well.

Yang Zhiyuan laughed heartily: “Rare, rare. When I was in the provincial team, it was always our pairs skating that went out to compete. The singles skaters would just stare at our backs in a daze. Now, unexpectedly, the men’s singles has become the hope of the team.”

Zhang Junbao looked proud: “Fortunes change, you guys have dominated pairs skating for so long, it’s time for our men’s singles to rise.”

Zhang Jue, lying down, internally complained. Give it a rest, until he was reborn, men’s singles were still struggling, and in Chinese figure skating, pairs skating was still holding the fort.

Yang Zhiyuan applied new plaster to Zhang Jue but refused to give him painkillers again. The reason was that the competition was over, so if it hurts, let it hurt. Using less medicine can also save the liver and kidneys some burden.

The team doctor said: “Among athletes with so many injuries, I won’t easily prescribe painkillers for things that can be endured. It prevents dependence. Your injury is not severe; rest a bit, the pain will teach you a lesson for now.”

Zhang Jue touched his fairy-like waist, sighed, and went to receive the award.

The one presenting the award this time was a leader from the International Skating Union with Russian roots. Seeing Ilya, he smiled with satisfaction, his eyes full of contentment. Seeing Hayato Teraoka, his expression was calm. When he saw Zhang Jue, he encouraged him with a few words, maintaining a friendly demeanor.

From the attitude of the other party, Zhang Jue could tell one thing: the Russian faction probably hasn’t paid much attention to him yet, but Hayato Teraoka was already disliked by the Russian faction.

It makes sense. After all, Hayato Teraoka was an athlete challenging the quadruple jump in the junior category, which is bound to impact the future development of the Russian prince.

Also Hayato Teraoka not only has the favor of Japanese judges behind him but also, because figure skating was highly popular in Japan, many sponsors support the International Skating Union. The world knows the power of the main sponsor’s father. Being supported by such a group, Hayato Teraoka was a formidable opponent!

There’s only one position for the world’s number one. In the future of men’s figure skating, Ilya and Hayato Teraoka are destined to have their brains beaten out. As for Zhang Jue, he’s just a kid. Falling from the qualifying rounds all the way to the overall finals, winning against others with the advantages of stamina and performance, but still a bit far from Ilya, belonging to the existence that the judges can suppress.

Zhang Jue: Tsk, being underestimated is a bit annoying.

When the Russian national anthem echoed in his ears, Zhang Jue looked at the smallest red flag among the three national flags and pursed his lips.

Perhaps everyone thought that Zhang Jue was only 13 years old, just entering the junior category, with little competition experience and training time, so winning a bronze medal was quite normal.

But in Zhang Jue’s eyes, competitive sports don’t need excuses. He lost, lost to Ilya and Hayato Teraoka, but it’s okay. Next time, he would

At this moment, Zhang Jue heard a heavily accented English

“Jue, time for a group photo.”

Zhang Jue didn’t understand, looking a bit confused. Hayato Teraoka silently stepped up onto the step next to Ilya and waved at Zhang Jue, while Ilya extended his hand to him.

The kid understood, shook hands with Ilya, and stepped up, staggering a bit but unable to stabilize. Ilya supported his shoulder.

Hayato Teraoka reminded him: “Raise the medal and look at the camera.”

Under the guidance of the two experienced seniors in the award ceremony, Zhang Jue raised the medal, and the three of them put on a “friendship first” courtesy smile for the camera.

The flashlights kept flashing, and then Hayato Teraoka reminded Zhang Jue: “Zhang Jun, we’ll skate around the rink, then take a few more photos in front of that row of cameras. Just follow us.”

Zhang Jue obediently nodded and, guided by Ilya and Hayato Teraoka, completed the award ceremony. The scene looked like two eagles leading a little chick, full of affection, and the audience’s cheers were continuous.

Finally off the stage, Zhang Junbao came over and hugged Zhang Jue, rubbing him vigorously: “Little Jue, is it fascinating to receive an award for the first time?”

Zhang Jue, hit by the sudden chest muscles in his face, struggled to get up.

“Uncle, loosen up a bit…”

Shen Liu, holding two crocodile plush toys, smilingly gave them to Hayato Teraoka and Ilya as a thank-you gift for taking care of Zhang Jue. The two big boys showed proper manners when facing their seniors, and Shen Liu’s expression remained unchanged. However, in his mind, he kept wondering – Ilya english seems to be getting more standard. Was this kid really speaking English? My master’s degree in foreign languages only allows me to understand half of it. Is he learning from the physical education teacher?

In the end, it was Vasily who came over to clear things up, pressing down on the little brother’s head.

“All right, no one understands what you’re saying. Shen, he just said that your student is cute, he likes him a lot, and hopes to invite Jue to participate in Princeonice next May.”

Princeonice (Prince on Ice) was a well-known Russian figure skating commercial performance brand. Every year, they invite many famous figure skaters to perform.

Participating in commercial performances is one of the ways for figure skaters to earn money. For newcomers, joining several commercial performances not only allows more fans to get to know them but also benefits in accumulating performance experience.

Zhang Jue’s appearance and style are very distinctive, belonging to the type that audiences like. As the leading skater of Princeonice, Vasily expressed his willingness to cover Zhang Jue’s travel and accommodation expenses. Shen Liu calculated in his mind and realized that Zhang Jue could probably earn enough to buy half a pair of ice skates by making this trip.

Earning money is a good thing, and commercial performances are not too demanding. It’s equivalent to a subsidized trip.

Shen Liu’s smile became genuine.

So, on the second day, when the performance was about to begin, Zhang Jue changed into the crocodile onesie, squatting in the waiting area nibbling on cookies. It seriously reminded Shen Liu of pajama baby.

“When you’re on the stage, give it your all. Use heart gestures, blow kisses, and make sure to pose for the camera. A fantastic performance will attract more invitations from commercial performance brands in the future, and that means more money for you.”

Zhang Jue’s face was puffed up by the cookies. He nodded his little head and replied indistinctly: “Okay, okay, just being cute, watch me.”

So, when Qin Xuejun finally finished reading a book and turned on the TV, what she saw was the little crocodile running onto the ice, hands cupping his face, throwing a wink at the camera, followed by placing hands on hips, posing with a non-existent little belly, and gracefully skating around the rink.

The 1.9-meter-sized guys were stunned for a moment, half a beat later, they clenched their fists against their lips, suppressing laughter with a forced cough.

This is truly… a must-see program for fierce men!


Support translation:

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. May

    Just wanted to say I really appreciate the novel translation. I’m a huge figure skating fan that has lost some of the interest after my favourite retired. I’ve been to two world championships and will be going to my third next month and this brings back some of that passion when I got into figure skating. Thanks for your time!

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