Figure Skating: I’m More Suited for the Olympics – Chapter 72 Surprise

“No, the eyeliner should be applied lightly and carefully, you’re pressing too hard” Zhang Jue sat in place, allowing Francis Miller and his uncle to use him as a guinea pig to practice applying eyeliner.

Shen Liu glanced at his watch: “Hurry up, the test competition is about to start. The sooner you finish, the sooner little Jue can warm up.”

Zhang Junbao replied earnestly: “Just a moment, I think I’ve found the trick. It’ll be ready soon!”

Zhang Jue thought to himself: “…”

Because Francis couldn’t come over every time to do his makeup, Zhang Jue’s uncle conscientiously started learning how to do makeup. At least he could take notes on the makeup designed by Francis and replicate it.

After all, in Zhang Jue’s environment, there weren’t many people who could do makeup. The coach on the women’s team could do makeup, but since the women’s singles in H Province weren’t developed, the only standout, Xu Chuo, had already entered the national team, and the women’s singles coach couldn’t accompany them to competitions.

Zhang Qingyan, because of her natural beauty had never touched makeup from a young age until now, only skincare products were found at home. So she passed on makeup, and Madam Mia, being elderly, couldn’t possibly travel the world with Zhang Jue just because of makeup.

So Zhang Junbao now started learning makeup skills out of necessity. He had to learn because the leaders said that Zhang Jue’s makeup and styling for the poster of “Dance of the Great River” sold the best, hoping that Zhang Jue wouldn’t disappoint with his appearance advantage and would create more economic benefits.

Will you still get a share after the poster is sold?

This year, since Francis had spent a long time in China, he volunteered to be Zhang Junbao’s temporary teacher. At the same time, he was also invited by the national team to be a performance training teacher during the training period.

As an active male single skater with mediocre technical skills, Francis’s highest difficulty was a 3A, and his best performance in major competitions was fifth place in the Grand Prix Final.

Like many European and American skaters with not-so-great jumping talent, his performance scores were always high despite the lack of technical jumps. But unlike those who relied solely on the judges’ artistic favoritism, Francis’s performance was genuinely impressive. His programs were rich in content and meaning, and his skating skills were good enough. His high-performance scores were well deserved.

Combined with his good taste and painting skills, he could always design beautiful costumes, so he had accumulated a considerable number of fans by the time he retired.

That’s why even though his results weren’t impressive during his active career, he still received many invitations for commercial performances several years after retiring.

This time, the leaders were unusually generous, providing Francis not only with generous compensation but also covering his meals and accommodations and reimbursing his travel expenses.

Francis came enthusiastically.

When the makeup was finally done, Zhang Jue held up the mirror and looked: “Why do I look the same everywhere except for my eyes?”

Francis packed up the makeup kit: “You only need to emphasize the eyes. Kids shouldn’t wear heavy makeup. You look fine like this.”

Zhang Jue blinked and went to stretch his joints.

Shen Liu reminded him: “Pay attention to your knees, you must move them well. Let me remind you, this season, try to avoid using your knee-damaging fall method during competitions.”

Zhang Jue innocently replied: “But if I fall, the competition will be ruined.”

Shen Liu looked around and whispered to Zhang Jue: “It’s your first year in the senior group. If you fall, you fall. Look at Hayato Teraoka, he didn’t even make it to the Grand Prix Final last year, and no one blamed him for that. Your future is more important. It’s not like you’re only skating for this year; you’ll skate in the future too.”

Zhang Jue grinned and nodded: “Too bad Cha Hanbuhua can’t come to the test competition. Otherwise, I could have Francis do his makeup too. He’s always boasting about his makeup skills, saying that he can enhance everyone’s looks by twenty percent regardless of skin color or age.”

Shen Liu’s mouth twitched: “Uh, not wearing makeup is also a flaw. Your features are still good. Don’t say this in front of him; he’s always felt that he’s not handsome enough and is a bit insecure about it.”

Zhang Jue was shocked: “Huh? Is he insecure? What does he have to be insecure about? He’s clearly more handsome than at least eighty percent of men, and he’s really handsome. I envy him a lot.”

Zhang Jue himself had a fairy-like beauty, while Cha Hanbuhua was the sunny and handsome type. As a male, Zhang Jue had always admired his junior’s looks.

However, even though this year’s test competition started with the senior group, Zhang Jue’s hands still stank as usual.

This time, the drawing lots were done by reaching into a box and picking numbered balls. Before Zhang Jue went on stage, Song Cheng purposely hung a lucky charm around his neck. But when Zhang Jue reached in and grabbed a ball, it was number one, and everyone around laughed.

Sun Qian shook his head repeatedly: “Zhang Jue, oh Zhang Jue, your luck is beyond saving.”

Song Cheng sighed from the sidelines: “Even the lucky charm couldn’t help him. His luck is just hopeless.”

But despite that, no matter how bad his luck was, as long as Zhang Jue skated beautifully on the ice, that was all that mattered.

His short program this year was “Farewell Nohi-No,” a tango piece created by Francis.

Zhang Jue had never danced tango before, and the style of “Farewell Nohi-No” leaned towards maturity, as it was a requiem composed by Piazzolla for his father. Despite its name, it was actually a sorrowful farewell song. Theoretically, it wasn’t suitable for a boy like Zhang Jue with the physique of an elementary school student to interpret.

Little kids are just promoted, just like the newly risen sun. What kind of farewell is that?

From Sun Qian to Song Cheng, everyone hoped that Zhang Jue could continue the success and popularity of his well-received and highly infectious programs: “Autumn” and “Dance of the Great River.”

However, Zhang Jue revealed his intention to skate new programs for the new season at the World Junior Championships, completely ignoring the persuasion of the leaders. Because of this, Zhang Jue once again wrote a self-criticism and was punished by his uncle with a rolled-up copy of “Cat’s Heart.”

One roll, one slap.

However, when the teenager completed his 4S with both hands raised, Sun Qian finally breathed a sigh of relief.

“There are no technical issues, and the sadness of farewell and the mood of tango are also there. Did this kid do a lot of homework?”

Song Cheng: “Exactly. This kid specifically enrolled in a tango class, and Zhang Junbao followed suit. The two of them took extensive notes, writing down how each part should be performed clearly and meticulously. Francis was almost driven crazy by them.”

With one step at a time, Zhang Jun’s performance satisfied Sun Qian.

He thought, at least in terms of performance, Zhang Jun has never disappointed him. The jumps were stable, truly worthy of being the one he regarded highly…

Sun Qian hadn’t finished feeling relieved when their village’s men’s singles ace messed up the 3lz+3lo combination jump, turning it into a 3lz+2lo.

Song Cheng cleared his throat, looking embarrassed: “At the beginning of the season, Zhang Jun’s familiarity with the program was not enough, and his form hadn’t come together yet. When we return, we’ll give him additional training.”

Sun Qian: “There’s no need to put too much pressure on the child.”

Even if he made a mistake, Zhang Jun’s foundation set him apart, and a quadruple jump gave him a significant lead over others. In the end, he scored 84 points, securing first place in the short program.

Sun Qian even went over to pat Zhang Jun’s shoulder, kindly saying: “Little Jue, have you grown taller during the training camp? Good, not only is your expressive ability becoming more mature, but you’ve also grown taller.”

With a height of 1.58 meters, Zhang Jun grinned: “Thank you, coach. Actually, I hope I don’t grow taller.”

Sun Qian turned serious in a second: “You still need to grow. Boys shouldn’t be too short.”

At 1.58 meters, Zhang Jun’s height was still too short for men’s singles. In Sun Qian’s opinion, another 10 centimeters would be enough. Zhang Jun had good proportions, a slender build, and at 1.68 meters, he could still look aesthetically pleasing. As long as he didn’t exceed 1.75 meters, he wouldn’t be considered tall. After all, haven’t you seen Ilya, who is 1.77 meters, and Hayato Teraoka, who is 1.76 meters, both having strong jumps?

Zhang Jun chuckled.

“Starting from this season, you’ll be participating in adult competitions, Zhang Jun. Good luck.”

Hearing this, Zhang Jun stood straight and said seriously: “Yes, Coach Sun, I will do my best on the ice.”

How long he could skate and how far he could push himself, as an athlete, Zhang Jun already had that awareness.

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Remember to take care of your body. There are more than just you striving on the ice. This year, besides you, three kids have moved up a level. Look, he’s on the ice now.”

Zhang Jun blinked and turned to look: “Is it Shi Mosheng or Jin Zixuan?”

As the ace of the ice team, Shi Mosheng was also absorbed into the national team this year. He used to be Chen Zhu’s disciple. Considering he was two years older than Zhang Jun, he was indeed at the age when most of the men’s singles players moved up domestically.

As for Jin Zixuan, he was the most promising successor before Zhang Jun appeared. He was one year older than Shi Mosheng and even took the podium at the Youth Grand Prix in Canada last season, winning a bronze medal. From skill to age, he should be moving up.

Maybe it’s Zhang Jun’s perception, but Jin Zixuan’s fragile mentality seemed to have improved slightly from what he remembered, and his mood swings weren’t as severe.

When Zhang Jun looked over, Shi Mosheng and Jin Zixuan were indeed in the waiting area, but the one stepping onto the ice was another person.

Fan Zhaoying, former top men’s singles contestant for the J Province team, was teammates with Huang Ying and Guan Lin. Two years ago, he retired due to a torn ligament. It was rumored that he had already landed a 3A before retiring, with jumping ability even better than Jin Zixuan, and a more stable mentality. Originally, he was the favored successor for the Youth Grand Prix.

At this very moment, this young man who disappeared into the crowd after Zhang Jun retired in the previous life, was wearing a brand-new costume and stepping onto the ice again as a new member of the adult men’s singles.

His opening jump was a 3A. Zhang Jun watched as Fan Zhaoying leaped lightly, stumbling a bit on the landing, but he managed to steady himself, showing no signs of panic and continuing with the rest of his performance.

Huang Ying’s crisp voice sounded: “Brother Fan started training again in the second half of last year. He only mastered the 3A again last month. How is it? Surprised?”

Zhang Jun turned around. Huang Ying, who had grown to 1.47 meters, half a head taller than the previous season, had both hands in her pockets and flashed him a bright smile.

Guan Lin, who had also grown a bit taller, from 1.65 meters to 1.7 meters, carrying a sports bag, and after the men’s singles test match, it was time for pairs skating.

Everyone had fought side by side on the international stage, and their relationships were good. Guan Lin and Zhang Jun exchanged a fist bump, and Guan Lin explained: “When Zhaoying said he wanted to come back, we were all extremely surprised. His family was against it, but his determination was particularly firm, and he came back without hesitation.”

Zhang Jun smiled: “It’s indeed a big surprise.”

The China men’s singles gained another outstanding member, and Zhang Jun felt like the burden on his heart had lightened a bit since moving up a level.



Support translation:

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