Figure Skating: I’m More Suited for the Olympics – Chapter 47 The Big Wave

Although he had the appearance of a fairy, Zhang Jue’s beauty was quite intimidating to others due to its overwhelming nature. When he entered someone’s field of view, few could resist the urge to look at him.

At this moment, the young man, dressed in a sparkling costume, glided onto the snow-white ice. To put it mildly, he was a radiant figure, emitting a glow.

Lifting one foot, he raised his index and middle fingers, brushing off the ice shavings from the blade. Then, he turned and attempted a 1S jump.

Hmm, it felt okay.

Through the combined efforts of the nutritionist and team doctor, as well as the meticulous training by the coaching staff, Zhang Jue’s physical condition had reached its peak during the World Junior Championships. It was a feeling of unprecedented fullness in his energy.

At this moment of reflection, Shen Liu and Zhang Junbao exchanged a glance, both smiling as they told him that reaching the peak of physical condition during the Youth World Championships was just the beginning. If Zhang Jue were to participate in the Olympics in the future, the sports bureau would arrange high-altitude training for him. Only when he came down from the high altitude would he understand what it truly meant to be at the peak of his physical condition.

Perhaps for seasoned individuals like them, who had experienced fluctuations in adapting to the body’s condition and adjusted their bodies to peak levels before major competitions, it was a habitual process. But for Zhang Jue, it was indeed the most energetic moment he had ever felt in his life.

This young body had limitless potential, like an energy furnace embedded within, ready to burst forth with surprising strength at any moment.

Yes, such a state should be used to create miracles.

Seeing Zhang Jue’s movements, Coach Song squinted his eyes, adjusting his glasses: “Little Shen, was that a 1F or 1S he tried?”

Shen Liu replied confidently: “It was a 1S.”

Coach Song touched his hairline: “That’s troublesome.”

Zhang Junbao added: “It’s quite troublesome.”

Shen Liu said: “I also think it’s troublesome.”

Coach Ma asked: “Why is it troublesome?”

Upon hearing Coach Ma’s question, Zhang Jue’s three coaches all wore bitter smiles.

Knowing Zhang Jue well, they were aware that the jump he tried before a competition was always the one he felt the least confident about. If he attempted a 1Lz, then the coaching staff would worry about him falling during the 3Lz later. However, Zhang Jue never fell on the 3S jump, after all, the kid’s nickname was “Edge Jump Bug,” and so far, the most falls he had on the edge jump were only 4S.

As for the quad, even top male skaters only had a success rate of sixty percent. The failure rate was quite high.

Shen Liu knew that Zhang Jue’s progress in the 4S was actually fast. It was just that he had kept Zhang Jue’s training volume for the four-revolution jump too low, so Zhang Jue’s success rate had been slow to improve.

Therefore, when they saw Zhang Jue try a 1S, the three coaches all felt a momentary unease.

Shen Liu showed no expression: “He always falls on the free skate, and he still wants to add difficulty. Tsk!”

Zhang Junbao clenched his fists: “It means we’ve been lenient.”

Although Zhang Jue, due to his nature of not fighting back for three days, had already become the most frequently beaten cub in the H Province team, Zhang Junbao’s temperament was known to everyone. He would roll up books into a tube and hit Zhang Jue’s buttocks. However, the buttocks were naturally the thickest part, and he still used a paper tube. Zhang Jue could pat his buttocks and continue jumping, completely unfazed.

The little kid, who almost never fell in the short program and had never had a clean free skate, had already assumed the starting pose. His delicate face wore a calm expression.

Until the music started, and after a turn, he initiated the step sequence, similar to Ilya.

Shen Liu, Zhang Junbao, and Coach Song collectively held their breath, and Vasily, sensing something, changed his expression.

“He couldn’t be…”

Impossible. Ilya, who was 15 years old, only attempted the quad in the previous competition. If this child, who executed a flawless 3A, seized this opportunity, he might have a chance at gold. There was no need for him to take unnecessary risks.

Moreover, he was only 13 years old. It was impossible for him to start practicing the quad at this age. Otherwise, their coaching staff would be too chaotic. Weren’t they afraid of ruining this unique talent?

Then they saw Zhang Jue resolutely take off.

Ilya and Hayato Teraoka simultaneously widened their eyes, and many people showed expressions of surprise.

Before today, they had no idea that this petite child could jump so high.

Experienced coaches immediately judged that the child had jumped at least 50 cm high. For Zhang Jue, whose usual jump height was only 40 cm, this was an unprecedented height.

Choi Jung-soo counted in his mind.

One revolution, two revolutions, three revolutions, four revolutions… it’s a quad, now the landing, the landing was a crucial factor in determining whether the jump was successful!

The blade smashed onto the ice with a bang, and ice shavings splattered around. Zhang Jue, with a calm expression, bent his knees to absorb the impact on the joints caused by the landing. While his body tilted, his knees twisted, and with the force of the hip and thigh muscles, he surprisingly stabilized himself.

Yin Meijing heard the commentator say: “Quad toe loop, a slight flaw in the landing, but the athlete recovered beautifully. He has a pair of flexible golden knees… wait, was that a quad toe loop just now?”

Yes, it was a 4S, executed with ample rotations, and the landing was flawless.

This jump was truly astonishing – a 13-year-old athlete completing a quad toe loop, undoubtedly the youngest skater in figure skating history to achieve such a feat!

Vasily, the reigning king of quad jumps, breathed a sigh of relief. “It was not a perfect jump, just barely reaching the acceptable level. The landing was too tight…”

A truly composed jump involved creating a smooth oval on the ice with the blade while gliding out.

“But, it was beautifully executed.”

The coaching staff collectively sighed in relief, while Coach Song went to grab his hair. He ended up pulling out several strands of silver hair, feeling a sense of melancholy. Shen Liu and Zhang Junbao exchanged high-fives.

Zhang Junbao sighed: “I don’t know whose wild spirit he inherited.”

Shen Liu reminded him: “Wait until little Jue finishes, there’s still some disciplining to be done.”


According to the original arrangement, Zhang Jue was supposed to perform 3A+3T followed by another 3A. However, the kid unexpectedly opted for a 2A.

He voluntarily lowered the difficulty.

Zhang Jue was a mischievous kid who never chose an easier path when a higher difficulty level was an option. The last time he voluntarily reduced difficulty was due to a waist injury. Why was he doing it this time? The coaching staff’s anxiety resurfaced.

Being Zhang Jue’s coach was not a job for someone with a weak heart.

The quad jump consumed a significant amount of physical and mental energy. When Zhang Jue landed, he felt the impact on his knees and ankles, equivalent to 5 to 8 times his body weight. Given the high risk of mistakes in attempting a 3A immediately after recovering, he decided to play it safe and went for a 2A.

As the blue score bar recovered a bit, Zhang Jue quickly followed up with a 3F, easing the worries of many who knew him. Landing the 3F securely indicated that his condition wasn’t too bad.

During the first set of spins, Zhang Jue surprised many once again.

Traditionally, his preferred spin combination was the Y-spin followed by a donut spin and a transition into a Y-spin. This time, after the donut spin, Zhang Jue used a rarely seen Y-spin variation – the camel variation, also known as the camel spin.

Starting from this spin, many people noticed a change in Zhang Jue’s performance style. It wasn’t the deeply engaging, infectiously playful innocence that he usually displayed; instead, it was a light and agile expression.

Previously, Zhang Jue always appeared like a 13-year-old little prince, but now, he looked as if a 13-year-old child had put on the prince’s clothes and was playing on the ice.

The young skater glided on the ice at high speed throughout the performance, displaying a hint of the flashy jumps commonly seen in junior athletes. Each jump incorporated noticeably delayed rotations, showcasing how the athlete’s explosiveness and control seamlessly combined.

The seemingly slow-motion jump poses emphasized the perfect harmony of the athlete’s power and control.

Until the last jump of the program, Zhang Jue executed a 3S+3lo. After a graceful standard 3S, he directly initiated a single-footed jump to complete the 3lo, but an inadvertent misalignment of the jump’s axis occurred.

The result of this jump was Zhang Jue landing on one foot, swaying like an ordinary person on a balance beam. His arms flailed, upper body swayed left and right, ultimately stabilizing with the help of his knee and some rare luck.

Although the GOE (Grade of Execution) would likely be deducted afterward, he managed to stay upright solely relying on a pair of sturdy knees, becoming the only person in today’s free skate who didn’t fall.

Well, Zhang Jue felt he had performed exceptionally well.

After blowing kisses and embracing a small crocodile plush, he descended from the ice, looking like a mischievous child who successfully blew off the roof, proudly seeking recognition from parents. However, upon noticing the coaches’ unusual atmosphere, he became perplexed.

Strangely, every time he finished a competition before, the coaches would welcome him like a little hero. Why did they now wear such gloomy expressions?

As Shen Liu draped a coat over Zhang Jue, Zhang Junbao chuckled, grabbing Zhang Jue’s collar and lifting him with one hand.

Zhang Jue, suddenly lifted off the ground, exclaimed: “Huh?”

This uncle-nephew pair arrived at the kiss & cry area in a shocking posture. The sight of the robust uncle holding the delicate Zhang Jue was surprisingly amusing, leaving onlookers unsure whether to laugh or worry about Zhang Jue’s well-being.

As soon as Zhang Jue sat down, Shen Liu tapped the back of his head, saying: “You’ve lost your sense. Without consulting the coaches, you brought a jump with a success rate below forty percent into the official competition. You’re Zhang Jue, not Zhang Dabian!”

Coach Song handed Zhang Jue a water bottle. Just when Zhang Jue thought the head coach was considerate and intending to plead on his behalf, Coach Song followed with: “He’s not Zhang Dabian; he’s Zhang Shadabian!”

Before the scores were announced, Zhang Jue received an unceremonious scolding from the coaches. The uncle even flipped Zhang Jue’s small hand over, scolding him with a pat. Although it wasn’t painful, doing so in the kiss & cry area, perpetually in view of cameras, felt like setting up a lifelong embarrassing moment.

Watching this public scolding, some might think it’s a setup for a lifelong black history.

Hayato Teraoka glanced over and shook his head at others concerned about the scene, saying: “Nothing much, just Tama-chan challenged the quad jump in the competition without permission. So, he got scolded. His coaches treasure him a lot, I don’t think he’ll even need to reflect on it afterward.”

“Did he do it without permission?”

Alex raised an eyebrow: “He’s quite daring. If my coach found out I did something like that, I’d probably get a scolding before leaving the public eye. Then my senior would give me another round of scolding.”

…and after the coach scolded him, his senior would follow up with another scolding…

After all, attempting a quad jump is a highly risky move. Regardless of the technical skill, the error rate increases during competitions. If something were to go wrong, not only would the competition be jeopardized, but injuries could also occur.

But the coaches dared to scold Zhang Jue in this manner because they knew he had thick skin and wasn’t afraid of such trivial matters.

Indeed, scolding away, the little arms of this mischievous child wrapped around the thick arm of his uncle. With a coquettish shake and an upward gaze, he showed a pleasing smile, and Zhang Junbao couldn’t scold him any longer.

This cute and adorable little face was undoubtedly charming, but for some reason, the coaches developed a strange illusion that, being Zhang Jue’s coach, they might have slaughtered too many pigs in their past lives.

In fact, what they didn’t know was that for many years to come, they would have to scold the mischievous child in the kiss & cry area while waiting for the scores. This often evoked sympathy from coaches of other countries.

Although Zhang Jue was fundamentally a hotheaded guy from Northeast China, having navigated through the entertainment industry, aware of his good looks, he knew how to leverage his advantage in appearance. Moreover, as a child, he could play the cute card effectively.

Furthermore, who would find it embarrassing to act spoiled in front of an uncle who adored him?

As Zhang Jue apologized sincerely and contemplated whether to lift his small face for another sweet smile, his score appeared on the big screen.

Technical score: 83.6

Performance score: 77.69

Total score: 161.29

This high score left Zhang Jue in a daze. “Hey, it’s pretty high.”

Especially the performance score, Zhang Jue couldn’t believe how much it had increased. His performance scores had never surpassed 75 before.

Shen Liu calmly told him: “The performance score follows the technical score. Now that you’ve landed a quad, the judges’ evaluation of you is different from before.”

Although such a performance score is easily achievable for skaters from the Russian and North American styles, Zhang Jue has truly reached their level.

With a short program score of 83 points, Zhang Jue broke the 200-point mark, reaching a total of 244.29 points, placing him at the top of the leaderboard.

Behind the total score, the symbols for WR (World Record) and MR (Event Record) followed!

The atmosphere in the venue heated up, and gradually, the applause from the audience became louder.

With the courage and skill to challenge higher peaks and a bit of luck, Zhang Jue broke Ilya’s total score record of 241.97 in the Grand Prix Final. With this score, he surpassed the previous leader, Hayato Teraoka, becoming the first Asian men’s singles skater to win the Junior Grand Prix Final.

Children jumped with joy, exclaiming: “I won!”

Hayato Teraoka looked at Zhang Jue’s figure and smiled: “He beat me to it.”

Shen Liu remained expressionless: “Yes, you won this time quite luckily. If you hadn’t stabilized those two jumps after the mistakes, you would only be contending for the bronze now.”

The uncle made an unreserved prediction: “Judging by his appearance, he’s bound to have a fall sooner or later in the future.”


Support translation:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kofi3-3.png

This Post Has One Comment

  1. May

    There’s an error in the chapter when he first jumps his 4S. The commentator should probably say he jumped a quad salchow not quad toe lop.

    Thanks for translating!

Leave a Reply