Figure Skating: I’m More Suited for the Olympics – Chapter 49 Anticipation

When the competition ended, it was already 6:30 in the evening, and Choi Jung-soo’s coach led him out of the venue.

“Jung-soo, you saw it yourself. Both neighboring countries have produced excellent men’s singles skaters. Their skills, potential, and performance are all higher than yours. When you go back, start practicing the 3A and quad jumps. Otherwise, by the time you move up next year, you won’t be competitive.”

Choi Jung-soo nodded his head and replied: “Yes.”

As the hope for South Korean men’s singles, he failed to step onto the award podium in the competition held in his own country. Even though everyone understood it was due to strong opponents, Jung-soo’s coach still imposed a lot of pressure on him.

Fortunately, his coach didn’t resort to physical violence, only using harsh words, something Choi Jung-soo had long grown accustomed to.

Compared to others who became cunning and ruthless in violence and some unsavory matters, sacrificing anything for victory, Choi Jung-soo felt his character was already quite intact. He just had a bit of low self-esteem at times, and he didn’t really care if others attacked him verbally.

Moreover, compared to desperately studying and becoming an exploited office worker in the future, being the number one skater in South Korea, he already considered himself lucky. When he will not be able to skate anymore, he could become a coach or engage in commercial performances.

Yes, compared to many others, he was truly fortunate. The talent in figure skating allowed him to live a better life. Many parents spent a lot of money sending their children to skate, but not all of them could break through.

Leaning against the car window, Choi Jung-soo, for some reason, felt an unprecedented exhaustion.

Those scandals and the misfortunes his friends faced made him feel like a heavy stone was pressing on his heart.

Tomorrow was the exhibition skate, and many athletes would take the opportunity to rest well today or explore the surroundings. If time permitted, some would even go to Jingpu Tower for a day.

Using the excuse to buy some local specialties, Choi Jung-soo secretly went out to buy tickets. On his way back, he saw a handmade craft store, so he went in and asked the shopkeeper to weave a small crocodile from bamboo. Then, he knocked on Zhang Jue’s door when he returned to the hotel.

The door opened, and Yin Meijing pulled him inside.

Only then did Choi Jung-soo notice that they had changed into new clothes, wearing hats, and had masks and sunglasses in their hands.

Liu Mengcheng said: “Jue bought us the disguises, and he also helped us scout the route. He said many reporters couldn’t find us and left. He asked us to leave from gate 3 of the parking lot, where there were fewer people. We can walk east for two hundred meters to catch a cab.”

Yin Meijing added: “He went to have dinner with the coach, so he won’t send us out. It’s just us as well; we don’t want people to know he’s hiding us to avoid causing trouble for him. Jung-soo, please thank Jue for us.”

Choi Jung-soo hesitated for a moment, nodded, and asked them to wait for a while. He then went to find Zhang Jue’s coach’s room.

Opening the door was a middle-aged man with a dangerously receding hairline. He had a kind expression and greeted Choi Jung-soo with a couple of “hello”s. Glancing into the room, Choi Jung-soo saw the young man intimately leaning against the coach, his hair tied into a bun, his small head almost buried in a large bowl, making slurping sounds.

As an athlete within the system, even though expenses for competing were reimbursed, their travel expenses were not covered by the higher-ups. Zhang Jue already had no money… coupled with a tight schedule. Therefore, his way of celebrating a victory was to eat the knife-cut noodles made by his uncle.

The dough was already prepared and could be directly shaved into the pot. Once it was cooked, he poured tomato and egg stir-fry and fried sauce on top. The taste, given by a celestial, was irreplaceable.

It was not only Zhang Jue eating, Huang Ying and Guan Lin also joined him for a meal. The three youths in their puberty were in high spirits, enjoying the delicious food. Watching their eating habits, the coaches showed affectionate smiles, reminiscent of kind-hearted country uncles.

As Zhang Jue ate, he would raise his little hand, and with a pitchfork between his index finger and thumb, Shen Liu would skillfully insert two cloves of garlic into his hand. The national team’s top skater became the garlic-peeling little brother, a privilege only Zhang Jue had.

Eating noodles without meat and without garlic was like missing half the flavor. Unfortunately, you couldn’t bring containers with liquids on the plane, or Zhang Jue would have brought the garlic soaked in vinegar that Mr. Xu prepared for him.

It was his treasure jar, and for a long time it was on par with Zhang Jue’s piggy bank.

Coach Song Cheng called out: “Zhang Jue, Choi Jung-soo is looking for you.”

Zhang Junbao glanced back, tugging at Zhang Jue’s earlobe: “Hey, stop eating. Someone’s looking for you.”

Zhang Jue raised his head, and Choi Jung-soo only then noticed that the person’s face looked like a squirrel stuffed with pine nuts. The cheeks moved up and down as he swallowed the mouthful of noodles. Zhang Jue stood up and pulled him out of the room.

“I’ll send them to the station later. Before they leave, I want to give you this. It’s a bamboo-woven crocodile, not worth much… Anyway, thank you very, very much for taking care of Liu Mengcheng and Yin Meijing.”

Choi Jung-soo earnestly bowed to the little Jue, and Zhang Jue helped him up, holding the bamboo crocodile with a smile.

“I just did what many people would do. Don’t thank me. And I’ll gladly accept this. Thank you. The crocodile is very cute.”

You are cuter than the crocodile.

Choi Jung-soo thought so in his heart, and a sincere smile appeared on his face. He looked at Zhang Jue and said seriously: “Next year, I’ll be moving up to the senior level. Zhang Jue, I look forward to meeting you on the adult competition stage. Also…”

He opened his mouth, wanting to say many things, but remembering that Zhang Jue’s English listening skills were not good, he could only offer the most heartfelt blessing.

“Wishing you health and happiness.”

The little crocodile gave him a hug, gentle and soft. Choi Jung-soo only smelled the fragrance of shampoo when Zhang Jue backed away.

The beautiful Chinese youth said to him: “Good luck.”

Choi Jung-soo hoped so too.

Zhang Jue’s provided route worked well. Following his directions, they indeed successfully hailed a cab and headed to the station. Moreover, this little friend had prepared hamburgers and a fruit platter for Yin Meijing and Liu Mengcheng in advance for dinner. It was really thoughtful.

But when they entered the station, a flash of light occurred. Choi Jung-soo didn’t pay attention at first, but gradually, he noticed people around pointing and gesturing towards them. A bad premonition surfaced in his mind. After another flash of light, he turned around and saw a seemingly college student sending something.

He rushed over and snatched the phone, only to see a Twitter message that had already been sent.

Saw Liu Mengcheng, who was violated by the coach, and his female companion Yin Meijing at the station. They look even better in real life. If I were the coach, I’d prefer Yin Meijing.


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He shouted in shock: “What on earth are you posting!”

The guy took back the phone, a bit flustered, and retorted: “I didn’t post anything. It’s you, the short guy, suddenly grabbing someone’s phone. Are they someone’s people? Yin Meijing’s secret lover?”

Choi Jung-soo felt a surge of anger in his chest: “Taking inappropriate photos and posting such obscene comments. Do you have any manners?”

Choi Jung-soo gritted his teeth, trying to grab the phone to “delete the message,” but the guy adamantly refused. Before they could escalate into a quarrel, a clear voice rang out.

“Don’t argue with him, run!”

Choi Jung-soo was stunned for a moment, then was dragged away from there by a hand.

Looking at the petite figure in a white down jacket and a pompom hat in front of him, Choi Jung-soo subconsciously exclaimed: “Jue, what are you doing here? Meijing is still over there…”

“They have already been taken away by Teraoka and Ilya,” Zhang Jue interrupted him, pulling Choi Jung-soo to a secluded place, taking off his hat and putting it on Choi Jung-soo’s head, and then having him wear his coat inside out.

“As soon as Teraoka saw the news, he called me, and then the three of us took a taxi and came over. Luckily, you’ve been wearing a mask all along, so just leave discreetly. It would be troublesome if you were photographed. Leave the rest to us.”

Then Zhang Jue pushed him, saying: “You better leave.”

Choi Jung-soo was reluctant: “But this is my responsibility. You’ve already helped us a lot, and I should handle this matter.”

Zhang Jue kicked him on the buttocks without hesitation: “Whose responsibility? They’re not your wives. You don’t need to meddle in so much! Go back! Don’t cause trouble here.”

Choi Jung-soo was stunned, wondering, Wait, aren’t you the beautiful and kind fairy crocodile? Why are you suddenly kicking people?

Despite being driven away, he was extremely worried.

Back at the hotel, the young lad saw Zhang Jue’s classic scene of dancing with a dirty mop on the lobby’s television, while Ilya wielded a folded stool on the side.

As the saying goes, a martial arts master would rather face a thousand troops than confront an angry, pot-wielding aunt. The mop Zhang Jue held was borrowed from the cleaning lady of a public restroom, and it had a strong toilet smell, similar to a chamber pot or a bedpan.

Zhang Jue angrily shouted: “Sweeping through a thousand troops,” sweeping forward. Not only did passersby and unscrupulous paparazzi retreat, even his comrade Ilya had to take a step back. This demonstrated the great power of this divine weapon.

Coach Zhang, with an exceptionally large chest, pointed at the TV in astonishment: “Why did this kid run over there? Wasn’t he supposed to be in the room doing homework?”

Meanwhile, the Zhang Jue on the screen was unaware of himself being live on TV. He had Hayato Teraoka send Yin Meijing and Liu Mengcheng to the car, while he poked the reporters attempting to catch up with a mop. He also cursed loudly in authentic Northeastern dialect.

“Heck, the conscience of a group of adults has been eaten by dogs. How can they trouble two underage kids like this? Can’t people catch a train in peace?”

Although nobody at the scene understood Northeastern dialect, from the moment Zhang Jue picked up the mop, the image of the little kid and fairy crocodile was almost destroyed.

Zhang Junbao, who understood the Northeastern dialect, slapped himself in the face, letting out a desperate sigh.

In short, in the live broadcast situation, Zhang Jue and Ilya successfully delayed the pursuit. When Hayato Teraoka sent Yin Meijing and Liu Mengcheng to the car, Zhang Jue, holding a mop, and his two little partners disappeared without a trace.

Although Choi Jung-soo couldn’t understand Northeastern dialect, he stood there with his mouth wide open for a long time.

Little crocodile, is this what you meant by “leave the rest to us”? Do Hayato Teraoka and Ilya still have any dignity left? You all appeared on TV together. You’ll definitely be beaten by the coach when you come back, right?

He could already see the top male figure of Chinese men’s singles taking a deep breath, standing up, grabbing a waiter, and asking in English: “Excuse me, is there a stationery store nearby that sells rulers?”

After this battle, Zhang Jue helped the ice dance pitiful Yin Meijing and Liu Mengcheng avoid unscrupulous media and sent them away from Jiangling. This couldn’t be concealed anymore. As for the other two who stood on the podium at the World Junior Championships in men’s singles, they were also implicated.

Many scolded the trio for meddling too much, and after they returned, the coaches gave them a good lesson. For example, Zhang Jue was rubbing his buttocks from the performance skate, and he probably had to write a self-criticism when he returned to China.

Fortunately, because the ones involved in the incident were the three rising stars in the figure skating world, and apart from hiding for a day, they didn’t do anything particularly outrageous. The International Skating Union (ISU) didn’t show any reaction to this, effectively choosing to overlook the matter in silence.

However, this incident served as a turning point. Liu Mengcheng’s sexual assault case gained more attention, and the increased visibility hinted that the legal proceedings might be slightly easier.

One day after the World Junior Championships concluded, Choi Jung-soo and his coach embarked on the journey back to Seoul. In his backpack, Choi found a paper crane, and on the wings of the crane were the handwritten words of Yin Meijing.

“To the world’s most handsome Jungsoo ge (brother),

This was a letter.

Choi Jung-soo unfolded the paper crane.


Brother Jungsoo, when you read this letter, Meijing and I should have already headed to Busan. First of all, I want to thank you and many kind-hearted people once again. Without your help, Meijing and I would probably be sleeping on the streets.

The sports world we are in has always had many dark sides. Many older brothers and sisters I know, like brother Meijing, have been abused, physically attacked, and personally targeted. To be honest, I once felt despair about these things and, as a result, made up my mind not to be an athlete anymore, which led to making this matter so big.

I admit that I once hated figure skating for bringing too many nightmares to Meijing and me.

At that time, I never thought I would receive so much help from kind people. When I took that cold medicine that would cause a positive doping test, I thought it wouldn’t matter if I retired. But now, I feel that the world is still ugly, but there are many beautiful places, and I hope can rise again in our hearts.

At that moment, I realized that although figure skating is tough, the joy of flying hand in hand with brother Meijing on the ice was never false.

Brother Jungsoo, brother Meijing, we are about to face suspension, and we can only come back next season. This is what we deserve. I don’t have any resentment or unwillingness, but after this lawsuit, we may leave this country. Kazakhstan’s figure skating head coach Ayala has already invited us. It’s a good opportunity, and we’ve decided to seize it.

Perhaps when we step on the ice again, we will face the world’s crazy eyes and rumors. But after this incident, I think we have the courage to face it. I will always be by Brother Meijing side until the end of my life, and I hope that you, in Seoul, can continue down this path with determination.

One day, we will reunite with you, Little Crocodile, Ilya, Teraoka, Alex, and Juventus on the competition stage. At that time, we will say “thank you” to you in person.

Dreams of the ice dance athlete Yin Meijing stepping onto the world stage, and her handsome partner Liu Mengcheng, respectfully.

Wishing you both health and smooth sailing forever.

March 5, 2011


A tear fell on the letter paper. Choi Jung-soo wiped the corner of his eye, looked at the sunlight outside the car window, and a smile appeared on his lips.

“Looking forward to the day of our reunion.”


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Snow Lion

    This is sad and fulfi

  2. Snow Lion

    This is sad and fulfilling at the same time. I hope that they’re lots of good people in the world and hope crimes like these are punished especially heavily.

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