Figure Skating: I’m More Suited for the Olympics – Chapter 67 The Sun

“Representing China, Jue Zhang.”

The bilingual announcement in English and Japanese echoed on the radio, and the national team skating coach, Jiang Chaosheng, once again teamed up with Ms. Zhao Ning from Central Five to provide commentary for this competition.

Zhao Ning clearly spoke into the microphone: “Next on the ice is the third-place finisher from the previous Grand Prix Final, the previous Junior World Champion, holder of the records in the junior category for the short program, free skate, and overall score. At the age of 13, he conquered the quadruple jump in men’s singles figure skating, Zhang Jue!”

This series of titles was quite impressive. Even those unfamiliar with the sport could recognize that the beautiful kid on TV was exceptionally talented.

At least, after Zheng Bo heard this string of achievements, his originally disdainful expression had changed.

While championships might be due to weak opponents, world records undoubtedly represented the athlete’s capability surpassing predecessors, signifying the pinnacle of human achievement in that sport.

And what Zhang Jue represented was the pinnacle of men’s singles figure skaters in the youth category from ages 13 to 19.

Ling Beiru exclaimed: “Our country’s figure skating is surprisingly formidable! I never paid attention to this sport before. The promotion of these champions domestically seems too limited. I’ve only heard of Olympic champions in pairs figure skating.”

The waiter explained: “Our country only excelled in pairs figure skating before Zhang Jue emerged in men’s singles.”

To be precise, the current highlight of China men’s singles figure skating was still only Zhang Jue. Rather than saying it improved, it was more accurate to say that a seedling upheld the entire field’s harvest.

Because this sapling was too young, even though resources were provided for him, allowing Zhang Jue to afford a tap dance teacher and choreographer abroad, and customizing his costumes at the best Costin Design Studio this year, vigorous promotion was unnecessary.

Zhang Jue’s current products were selling better than the leading pair skaters. Leaders already felt it was sufficient. After all, figure skating was niche. Could they nurture a sports star of the caliber of Liu Feiren in the 110m hurdles? Ridiculous! Liu Feiren had Olympic gold and adult world records. What did Zhang Jue have?

As the popular figure skater in China, the youth category dominator, and the one who attracted casual viewers to watch his competitions with his good looks, Zhang Jue stood still on the ice, hands hanging by his side.

It wasn’t until the flute music, strongly reminiscent of Celtic style, began.


The sound of dancers tapping on the floor also resonated, accompanied by this heavy beat. Zhang Jue, with one hand on his hip, started tapping dance steps on the ice.

In fact: “The Dance of the Great River” wasn’t just a simple tap dance, as many people thought. The complete “Dance of the Great River” was a rich tap dance drama. As Ireland’s national treasure, this divine dance had a total of thirteen acts, depicting the epic struggles of the Irish people against nature, war, famine, and other hardships.

And what people were most familiar with was the first act—the dance with the sun. Although this act had no dialogue, the performers used breathtaking dance movements to praise the sun, light, fire, and life.

The piece Zhang Jue chose was the theme song of the first act: “Around The Sun.”

Whoosh! Ice sparkles flew.

Excitedly commenting on the scene, the Japanese commentator Suhara Yuki said: “Tama-san’s opening jump is a Saou four-revolution jump 4S+2T. When he jumps again, he uses a hand-raising posture.”

After completing the 4S, Zhang Jue took a deep breath and forcefully planted his left foot on the ice.



Suhara Yuki couldn’t believe it: “Tama-san is challenging even more difficult consecutive jumps! He’s truly an extraordinary young man! The Prince on Ice, the Miracle Son of the Empire!”

Zhang Junbao was dissatisfied with Zhang Jue’s performance: “He landed the ice relying on twisting his knees to stabilize. I’ve said that with his knee-twisting style, he’ll injure himself sooner or later. Even 2T would be enough when the success rate is not high.”

Shen Liu said: “If he didn’t raise his hand during the first jump to stabilize the axis, the second jump wouldn’t have required so much effort.”

Regardless, Zhang Jue was the kind of mischievous kid who was confident enough to use any difficulty level in a competition. In the second jump, he used 4S again, raising his hand.

Up to now, his single 4S jump success rate on the ice had already increased to eighty percent. This jump was much more beautiful, and even the landing on the ice was incredibly light and perfect.

Sergei leaned on the railing: “He has perfected the rotational jump to the extreme. This kind of light beauty is unparalleled worldwide.”

Maquen replied softly: “It seems we’re destined to face a strong opponent next year.”

Zhang Jue’s third jump was 3F. Since changing the jump style, this jump has been consistently stable. However, due to the unconventional jump style, the GOE received never exceeded 1.5.

But for the coaching staff who had experienced the time when every 3F led to mistakes, as long as Zhang Jue’s 3F landed steadily, they were already satisfied.

After this jump, with the prelude of the music ending, the youth performed a series of combined spins. When he stood straight again, a warm smile adorned his face.

Although Zhang Jue couldn’t become a professional tap dancer in a short time, he precisely grasped the essence of this dance—vitality.

In this sequence of steps, he leaped continuously, like a little sun. Using his exuberant and expressive body movements, he showcased enthusiasm. If his dance moves weren’t professional enough, he compensated with his jumps.

As he leaped on the ice, the dance moves, distinct from the Dance King Colin but full of youthful vigor, combined with the music resembling a flowing river, the audience involuntarily showed smiles, starting to tap their feet to the music.

Subconsciously, Zheng Bo rubbed his arms and realized he had goosebumps. The infectiousness of the ice dancer was astonishing, infecting him even through the screen! Not to mention the live audience.

He muttered: “This little athlete seems to be quite something.”

Inside the arena, Shiratsuka Masako and the audience clapped along, their faces filled with pure joy.

Although “Autumn” was beautiful, Tama-chan’s favorite program still seemed to be “The Dance of the Great River.” No matter how many times she watched it, she felt that this lively beauty of life was the best!

Tama-chan was like a leaping flame, radiating light, and the ancient Irish people chasing the sun must have been just as energetic. This energy could ignite their civilization, allowing the Celtic history to sprout and take root in nature.

When Zhang Jue completed another set of 3lz+1lo+3S triple jumps, the cheers from the audience were even warmer than before the sequence of steps.

Clearly, Zhang Jue had successfully stirred the audience’s emotions with his performance, leading them into his own dance world!


Yin Meijing exclaimed softly. Little Crocodile stumbled during the 3lo jump, but he quickly got up and continued the performance, determined not to let any mistakes affect his presentation.

This child was like a little sun, making the icy rink warm and lively.

Liu Mengcheng watched for a while, smiled faintly: “Although the tap dance performance is a bit rough, this roughness also has its charm.”

“Dancing with the Sun” tells the story of the primitive era, portraying people’s primitive and wild worship of the sun. The child’s performance was pure and imperfect, but it matched the theme.

Francis Miller was indeed a choreographic genius, and Zhang Jue, interpreting “The Dance of the Great River,” was a genius performance.

It was a masterpiece born from the collision of geniuses. Zhang Jue’s state today was excellent. Watching his figure, Liu Mengcheng could even feel a pure sense of joy rising within him. This was truly rare for him.

After being coached, he had developed depressive tendencies. During the previous season, which he spent under suspension, he even took medication as advised by a doctor. Although he stopped the medication after the season started, occasionally falling into gloomy moods was unavoidable.

But every time he saw this child, Liu Mengcheng could feel hope and beauty.

In his heart, Liu Mengcheng said: “For a program like this, only someone with a heart like a little sun can interpret it, right?”

Maintaining high-quality performance while executing jumps was extremely demanding. The free skate had a much longer duration and required many more technical elements than the short program. Consequently, Zhang Jue had never skated cleanly his free skate.

But even if there were mistakes, discerning eyes could see that since the start of the Grand Prix Final, Zhang Jue had been the best performer on the ice!

In subsequent performances, Zhang Jue once again altered the planned 3A into a 2A. Interestingly, except for the coaches, Zhang Jue, and the judges, no one in the audience felt that there was anything wrong with his jumps dropping a level.

Because watching this young man’s performance felt like one could follow him up the ladder, dancing and leaping around in the light. Zhang Jue, as a solo skater in men’s singles, managed to convey the required enthusiasm and passion of “The Dance of the Great River” to the audience.

The applause, tapping to the rhythm, never ceased. Zhang Jue skated faster and faster. When the program ended, the tens of thousands of spectators in the arena stood up together, applauding and cheering for this outstanding young athlete.

Zhang Jue stuck out his tongue, the cheerful mood from the performance not completely fading. His body movements remained lively, and even the bowing and saluting to the audience seemed more spirited than others.

The next second, a burst of exclamations arose from the audience.

Because Zhang Jue unexpectedly pulled off his hairband, and a cascade of black hair fell down. He looked back at the camera and flashed a V sign.

Zhang Jue: Because I won again, a little greeting to the folks in front of the TV.

Ling Beiru covered her mouth: “He’s so cute!”

Beautiful and cute!

Zheng Bo blinked solemnly and said slowly: “This athlete seems to be really skilled. The atmosphere of this performance feels no worse than that of a celebrity.”

Xu Yan, holding a dance prop, subconsciously retorted: “What do you mean not worse than a celebrity? My son is a celebrity, the future star on the ice-skating!”

Zhang Jue’s outstanding performance meant that his opponents once again missed out on victory.

Hearing Kharhasha disappointed sigh, Ayala put her hand on the student’s shoulder, full of helplessness. She understood that, before Zhang Jue moved up to the senior level, it would be challenging for Kharhasha to challenge for gold medals in major A-level competitions like the Grand Prix Final and the Junior World Championships.

No, it should be said that unless Kharhasha can reach the level of challenging A-level competitions, he might not even be able to touch Zhang Jue’s hem. From today’s performance, Zhang Jue undoubtedly had the ability to challenge top-level competition.

The only thing the child lacked now was age.

On the other side, the King of Spins squinted his eyes, unconsciously sighing: “Wow, this kid is completely crazy in the junior division.”

Whether it was his subordinate Alan or the Canadian sliding genius, they were completely powerless in front of this child. Unexpectedly, such a talented junior emerged during the Sochi cycle, making Alan’s future path not easy.

Zhang Jue’s victory was already confirmed after the short program. Now, everyone was curious about what kind of score he would achieve in the end.

And when Zhang Jue’s score came out, many commentators exclaimed with a voice full of smiles.

“It’s 163.12 points, only 0.5 points away from the world record he set in the previous Grand Prix. It’s truly amazing.”

“The little crocodile from China won again. He clinched his first Grand Prix Final gold medal! Completing the Youth Grand Slam!”


Support translation:

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