Figure Skating: I’m More Suited for the Olympics – Chapter 71 Rainbow

During the rehearsal performance on ice, Zhang Jue’s ice skate broke.

The child bent down to pick up the broken blade, shrugged, kicked his right foot onto the ice, and slid on one foot, relying on his left foot.

Zhang Junbao lifted his skate and shook it: “These worn-out shoes are finally broken. Considering your usual training volume, these skates have been through a lot.”

Shen Liu glanced: “I thought it was a problem with the boots. I didn’t expect the blade to break. It’s fortunate you didn’t get hurt earlier.”

In fact, Zhang Jue belongs to the type that is very sensitive to ice skates. As long as he changes to new shoes, he will inevitably go through at least half a month of the adaptation period. That’s why he has been sticking to his old ice skates, and the wear and tear on the skates is especially fast.

“Now there’s no other way. Regardless of how uncomfortable you feel with the spare skates, you have to change them now.”

Zhang Jue wore Fly brand’s Dreamer model, an all-black shoe body, a silver blade. When changing shoes, the child took a deep breath.

He complained to his uncle: “I don’t want to wear these skates. I already have blisters on my feet. Why change to these new skates that hurt my feet? It’s really troublesome.”

His uncle sighed: “What can we do? Are you going to quit the performance like Shirase Hanako?”

This kid is really strange. When he competes with injuries, he doesn’t utter a word even if it hurts a lot. But as soon as the competition ends, especially when he’s around him, he immediately becomes particularly delicate, making Zhang Junbao always wonder if he spoils Zhang Jue too much.

This is not good. After all, the rehearsal is almost over, and the performance skating order is already set. Zhang Jue is the opening skater, and it’s not appropriate to change now; the organizers might be annoyed.

Zhang Jue scratched his head. “Then, how about changing to a less demanding program?”

Zhang Junbao: “Kid, how can figure skating not be demanding?”

Zhang Jue raised his thumb. “This humble person has been receiving professional vocal training since the age of 4. Uncle, not only is my figure skating professional, but my singing is also very professional!”

Zhang Junbao: “…”

Alright, you’re talented. You can go and negotiate with the organizers yourself.

Although the on-the-spot decision to change the performance program to singing seemed unreliable, Zhang Jue managed to negotiate this matter with the organizers using his somewhat stuttered English. Zhang Junbao couldn’t be bothered to intervene.

The performance skating started at four in the afternoon. According to the rules, skaters cannot wear practice costumes for the performance, or they’ll be fined. Since Zhang Jue wasn’t going to skate, and he didn’t want to wear the non-warm performance costume, he changed into a white shirt and sports pants and brought an electric guitar borrowed from a nearby music store onto the ice.

Many people looked confused at his outfit. What’s going on? Is this kid changing his performance program again?

At the beginning of the season, Zhang Jue’s performance program was “Cinema Paradiso,” later changed to “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence,” and now, if he changes it again, it will be the third program.

Look, he even brought a new prop. In fact, using props in performance skating is not uncommon. Canadian men’s singles skaters often like to perform with a janitorial theme. Over the years, you could often see male skaters with brooms on the ice. This has become a cliché in figure skating, just like Zhang Jue’s mop, which has become a new meme.

However, it wasn’t until the staff handed Zhang Jue a microphone that some people felt that something was off.

Wait a minute, with his posture, it seems like…

In the next moment, the drumbeat started, and Zhang Jue placed the microphone next to his mouth and began singing a classic rock song “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways.

Not to mention that the audience was dumbfounded, even some skaters opened their mouths in surprise. They never expected Zhang Jue to pull off something like this.

But his singing voice surprisingly had an infectious energy, not inferior to his figure skating program!

The child, who usually had a soft and clear childlike voice, turned into a powerful performer with each toss of his head. His still slightly curly hair swayed with each movement, exuding a charismatic aura.

Shiratsuka Masako, bundled up in thick clothes, sat on the sidelines, holding a hand warmer and swaying to the music.

She shook her coach’s arm: “Coach, look at Tama-chan, he looks so handsome!”

The coach, still recovering from the shock of his most precious student being seriously ill, watched her stand up, follow the music, and sway her body like a fanatical fan. The silly sister next to her also swayed along.

The organizers had originally arranged Zhang Jue to be the first to perform, intending to let him create an elegant and beautiful atmosphere. However, instead of elegance, the atmosphere was now extremely enthusiastic. The group of fans in the audience holding little crocodile fans screamed, and the scene resembled a concert more than a figure skating event.

Following Zhang Jue, Zhu Lin and Stephanie, who were preparing to perform “Song from a Secret Garden,” looked at each other.

Stephanie was puzzled: “Are we going to perform ‘Song from a Secret Garden’ in this enthusiastic atmosphere?”

Their sad and beautiful program had completely lost its harmony with the current atmosphere!

Zhu Lin replied with a forced smile: “No problem. He sings his, and we skate ours. After all, it’s just a performance.”

Since performance skating isn’t scored, it’s okay to skate casually!

Thinking this way, Zhu Lin gave a thumbs-up to his partner.

At this moment, as the music reached a climax, Zhang Jue unexpectedly played a guitar solo.

The whole audience got even more excited!

Zhang Junbao, standing expressionless on the side, thought, what’s with this broken song with lyrics like “Hello daddy, hello mom, I’m your cherry bomb”? He didn’t know what his brother-in-law and sister would think when they saw this part on TV.

Also, his vocal teacher clearly sings opera, Zhang Junbao thought Zhang Jue was going to perform “Tonight, No One Sleeps.” He even heard Zhang Jue practicing the score from “The Phantom of the Opera.” Why was he playing rock now?

He was also surprisingly good at it…

The 2011-12 figure skating Grand Prix ended in an extremely enthusiastic atmosphere, and Zhang Jue’s last season as a youth skater had just passed the halfway point.

When leaving Japan, Zhang Jue waited at the boarding gate for a while. Hayato Teraoka ran over panting and handed him a ribbon.

Zhang Jue took the ribbon and asked: “What’s this?”

“It’s the ribbon from Masako first World Junior Championship gold medal. She said to give it to you. Good luck in future competitions. Also, thank you for the scarf.”

Zhang Jue accepted the ribbon and casually replied: “You’re welcome. Please tell her to fight against the illness and take care. But I think she’ll be fine.”

Hayato Teraoka smiled and extended his fist: “Then, see you next season.”

In the upcoming season, the only competition abroad for Zhang Jue would be the World Junior Championships, as the Four Continents and World Championships were on different occasions. They would have to wait until the next season to meet again.

When that time comes, with Zhang Jue moving up a level, they will definitely have the chance to cross paths.

Zhang Jue fist-bumped him, saying: “See you next season.”

Ice, snow, figure skating, men’s singles.

[Discussion] The Little Crocodile in the 2011-12 season


This season, our country flower in the junior division was simply unstoppable. From the qualifying rounds, and regional competitions to the Grand Prix Final and World Junior Championships, he won every time, crushing opponents with a point difference exceeding 40. It’s truly unbelievable.


Mastering the quadruple Salchow elevated his standing with the judges, and his programs were highly infectious. The audience applauded numerous times, and his excellent form resulted in a significant boost in performance scores. Currently, he could achieve nearly 40 points in the short program, and the free skate performance score had already surpassed 83, placing him in a completely different league from other junior skaters.


Even if you place the Crocodile’s performance score in the senior division, he would still be considered second-tier. This emphasizes the importance of technical skills. If he hadn’t developed groundbreaking techniques, his performance score wouldn’t have increased so rapidly. Currently, among Asian men, he was the fastest to raise his performance score. After Hayato Teraoka moved up to the senior division, his performance score was on par with the Crocodile.


Firstly, the Crocodile’s artistic expression is widely acknowledged to be superior to Hayato Teraoka. Secondly, his good looks give him commercial value and a strong fan base. Even though it’s customary to underestimate Asian skaters, considering the market’s favor towards him, the Skating Association also sees potential. Fly is the biggest brand in figure skating, and this time, he became the first Asian ambassador for Fly!


The Crocodile is truly the shining star of our country, accumulating decades of spiritual energy.


It’s great to live long enough to witness the rise of our country men’s singles figure skater. It’s worth it!


I watched that documentary too. CCTV’s sports program’s ace reporter, Shu Feng… Shu Feng personally led a team to shoot it. They edited and broadcast it overnight. It was quite grand, and I guess the leaders at the Sports Bureau were pleased to see the sudden emergence of the Crocodile in ice and snow events.


I’m sure the commenter above deliberately mentioned Shu Feng.


A Crocodile head suddenly emerged in the village pond [Crocodile head popping out.jpg].


To be honest, the title “Purple Microstar” suits the Crocodile well. Throughout the history of figure skating, although the quadruple jump existed in the late 1980s, it faded away after the retirement of the pioneers. Since the Crocodile’s debut, this move has become popular again, and skaters like Teraoka, Safoshenko, and Alyasha in the junior men’s singles all started practicing it.


Not only in men’s singles but also in ladies’ singles, even our country pair skaters started raising their hands during throws and spins.


Because the Crocodile gets high Grades of Execution (GOE). Whether it’s a delayed rotation or raising his hand during a jump, he even got a +3 GOE when attempting a 2A recently. Who wouldn’t be envious?


The quality of his Axel jumps is indeed unmatched. Rumor has it that he could continue to perform a 2A even after not practicing for four years. With natural talent as a foundation, combined with his hard work and dedication, breaking his skates due to extensive practice, it’s commendable that he earns high GOE.


His ability to attract fans is also commendable. There’s a statistic from the analytics party stating that since the Crocodile became famous, there has been a thirty percent increase in domestic viewership of figure skating. Moreover, he is the darling of H Province Television. Whenever he achieves results, H Province Television responds faster than Channel 5. I now watch figure skating on H Province Television; Channel 5 doesn’t broadcast junior division events, but H Province always does.


Our hometown takes care of its own children. Our big H Province brings glory to the country on the international stage, and the hometown is proud.


Indeed, even the advertising for the Ladder Mountain Milk from their hometown features him. Also, the Crocodile’s merchandise is selling better than the top pair skaters in the senior division [facepalm and laughter]. Pair skating is a flagship event in our country’s figure skating, yet it can’t outsell this junior.


H Province Television is really biased towards our country flower. When the Crocodile sang during his performance, H Province even dedicated a program to explain The Runaways Band. At the end of the program, they played a video of the Crocodile singing in Fukuoka.


This is unbelievable. Wake up! You are a provincial-level TV station!


After Channel 5 made a short film about the Crocodile, H Province went a step further and produced a 50-minute documentary. They interviewed the Crocodile’s teachers, classmates at school, and even had a meal at the restaurant owned by the Crocodile’s parents. I must say, the Crocodile’s father is really handsome, and their braised blood duck is extraordinary.


Speaking of which, ever since the Crocodile’s impressive singing skills were exposed, he has been invited to perform at their school’s New Year’s Eve party. And during the 20 seconds of H Province’s broadcast of the H City No. 3 Middle School’s art evening, it was the Crocodile’s appearance. Even though the song was ridiculous, it was so cute.


That’s the Crocodile’s favorite song!


Ah, ah, ah! The official poster for my younger brother’s “Autumn” is out! It’s available at H Province’s ice rink. I’ve seen it, the quality is super good, and if you’re lucky, you might get a signed version from the Crocodile. I heard the Crocodile has excellent handwriting, practicing handwriting since childhood.


For “Autumn,” I recommend the collector’s edition with a bookmark. The posters from the “Dance of the Great River” set are even more valuable, especially during the Grand Prix Final when he tied up his hair and put on makeup – it was stunning.


It seems like the “Dance of the Great River” from the Grand Prix Final is a limited edition, and the official didn’t print many. If you’re late, you won’t be able to buy it [crying face]. But the plain version is also very nice; the Crocodile’s natural face is really divine, and there’s no flaw even in close-up shots.


I heard Francis paid with a credit card to watch my younger brother’s competition. I don’t know if we can crowdfund to let him do my brother’s makeup again.


Hey, the one above, calm down. The World Junior Championships have already ended, and the Crocodile won’t be competing this year.


Then next season? I’ll contribute ten bucks!


I’m in for twenty!


I’ll go with a hundred!


Rich person above, 666~


It’s a pity that this season we haven’t seen our country flower clean his free skate. Although his expressive skills are excellent, a perfect “Dance of the Great River” with both artistry and technique would be even more perfect.


Exactly, I remember that before he cleaned “Autumn,” the emotional depth of his program wasn’t as high. But in that final, when he cleanly executed technical moves, the artistic aspect was elevated. It was truly perfect. I wonder if my younger brother will continue using these two programs after moving up a level, so we might have a chance to see the perfect version of the “Dance of the Great River.”


Dreams are beautiful, but reality can be harsh. During an interview at the World Junior Championships, our country flower mentioned that he plans to use new programs in the next season. He intends to avoid repeating themes each season because he wants to constantly challenge himself, showing the audience something new in his limited professional career.


Impressive! In the figure skating community, where rehearsing old programs is a common practice, saying something like this is bold and sincere. I love athletes who continually bring something new.


My younger brother has always been straightforward. He has an account on Twitter, and when he saw someone blaming Shiratsuka Masako for retiring irresponsibly before the Sochi Winter Olympics, disappointing fans who were eagerly anticipating her performance in the previous season, he boldly defended her on Twitter. He doesn’t hesitate to offend people, and it makes me nervous just watching him.


Athletes retiring due to injuries are inevitable. Both his coaches retired that way. The Crocodile is well-known for having a good relationship with his coaches. Whether it’s knife-cut noodles or roasted meat, he surely shares their feelings.


His coach indeed spoiled him, hahaha. While there were scoldings, when it came to pampering, there was no room for complaints. Previously, during a match where the Crocodile and his coach watched opponents together from the audience seats, he even leaned on Coach Zhang. Then, around the time of the World Junior Championships, with the jet lag not properly adjusted, Coach Shen carried him to the competition venue.


Upon arriving at the location, sister Ying held a squeaky toy chicken and pinched it near his ear, waking him up with laughter.


Just by observing how close he was with his coach, it was evident that their bond was genuine. You can’t get that close to a mentor without a real connection.


Big news! Francis flew to China to participate in a commercial performance. Moreover, he already posted on Twitter, confirming that he would stay here for at least half a month, helping the Crocodile with choreography and giving performance lessons to other Chinese athletes.


Ahh! Crocodile’s prestige! I really love the programs he collaborates on with Francis. Looking forward to it!


Francis is likely participating in the ice show in capital. The retirement performances of Gold medal Sister and Brother are scheduled for that event. At that time, the national team will also be present, and Xu Chuo, who won silver at the World Junior Championships, will make an appearance. However, judging by the promotional posters, he’s standing in a position just below Jin Meng and Yao Lan. I guess he’ll be the officially promoted figure skater in the future.


After all, he is currently the most popular figure skater in the domestic scene. I wonder if this 15-year-old can handle such immense pressure.


After moving up a level, the Crocodile is now the legitimate new leader. This marks a new journey for him, so he must give his best!


Sister Ying and Brother Lin will also strive alongside him. The new generation trio is truly impressive!


But Sister Ying has grown taller. However, this girl is a bit older than our country flower, yet only 1.38 meters tall. I guess when she grows to around 1.55 meters, it will be just about right. Brother Lin also needs to hang in there.


The older generation is about to retire, and new hopes are about to move up a level. The figure skating of our country is turning a new page. Time flies so fast, and today, I still love figure skating.


I hope my beloved athletes can avoid injuries (even though it’s unrealistic), or at least suffer fewer injuries. I hope their future is smooth sailing, and I hope the figure skating of our village rises to the top of the world soon.


The 2012-2013 season’s competitions are truly crucial, especially the results of this season’s World Championships. They will determine how many slots our village’s figure skating will have at the Sochi Winter Olympics. The Three Musketeers are under immense pressure, but us ice fans will always be behind them, unwavering in our support!

When we live our lives earnestly, time always passes quickly, and before we know it, another year has passed.

At the end of March 2012, Zhang Jue once again won a gold medal at the World Junior Championships, entering the off-season for the junior group.

Possibly due to excessive training, he still hadn’t undergone puberty at this point. However, in the previous world, he should have started puberty in February 2012.

It felt like a Damocles sword hanging over his head. Originally scheduled to drop in February, it was now delayed to an unknown time, leaving a sense of relief but also an underlying worry.

But on second thought, if he’s lucky, perhaps he can endure a bit longer in the senior group.

In the early morning, with drizzling rain outside the window, Zhang Jue leaned against the window, holding his phone, staring blankly at the sky. After a while, the ringing tone resounded, and he quickly answered the call.

“Hi, it’s Zhang Jue.”

Hearing the voice from the other end of the phone, Zhang Jue breathed a sigh of relief.

“The transplant was successful? That’s great! Both my uncle and I have accepted invitations for Memory On Ice’s commercial performances. We’ll be going to Japan in May. I’ll go see Masako then… Don’t worry, I’ve been to international competitions many times. Buying a ticket from Tokyo to Fukuoka is definitely not a problem.”

He chatted with the person on the other end in English for a while. Although his spoken English wasn’t perfect, with occasional grammar mistakes, since Hayato Teraoka also knew Chinese, they could still have a complete conversation.

When the call ended, the sun had completely risen.

Outside the bedroom came the shout of Zhang Qingyan.

“Little Jue, come out and have breakfast! I made rice noodle rolls for you!”

Zhang Jue replied: “Coming!”

Outside the window, the rain had stopped at some point, and a rainbow hung in the sky. Zhang Jue stretched lazily, grabbed his sports bag, opened the door, and headed towards a new day.



Support translation:

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

Leave a Reply