Figure Skating: I’m More Suited for the Olympics – Chapter 79 Asthma

After the men’s singles short program, it was the women’s singles short program. Zhang Jue went for a drug test, casually grabbed a small medal, and faced a group of reporters for interviews and photos. After dealing with a bunch of things, he still managed to catch the last group of the women’s singles short program.

Coach Ma, along with Huang Ying and Guan Lin, sat in their seats, sharing gossip with Shen Liu.

“The most powerful in the U.S. women’s singles is Helena. Originally, Italy’s figure skating level was just average, but somehow, during the Sochi cycle, they had a rising star in both men’s and women’s singles. However, both of these athletes are prone to injuries, and the pressure is quite high.” Coach Ma explained.

Shen Liu, as the former top skater, felt deeply about this: “Being a lone talent is stressful, and the injury rate is high. After all, there’s no one to share the burden. Sometimes, even if you’re injured, you have to grit your teeth and continue competing, maybe even complete an entire season without missing a match. It’s tough on the body.”

Coach Ma added: “That’s why the leadership had Yang Zhiyuan always follow Zhang Jue. Wherever Zhang Jue goes, Yang Zhiyuan follows. Stretching before the match, massage after the match – all part of the treatment. It’s such good treatment.”

Shen Liu chimed in: “That’s because Zhang Jue trains hard normally. Without a team doctor following him, no one feels reassured. Don’t be fooled by his performance in the short program just now, this guy often gets injured. It’s just that before the start of the season, we reduced his training load. Now he looks like a complete package.”

As they discussed this, Coach Ma, with a tender expression, patted Zhang Jue’s head.

“Exactly, little Jue was practicing the 4T like crazy during the off-season, even cutting his forehead and needing stitches.”

Coach Ma sighed: “Our boy is also going through a lot. Fan Zhaoying originally retired due to injury, and now that he’s back, he’s been struggling to regain his technical skills. His injuries are like timed bombs, exploding unexpectedly. Huang Ying is still in the growth phase. If she doesn’t want to abandon the single jumps, she has to train hard. Her ankles have been injured several times already.”

Despite pair skating’s core technique being thrown, where the male partner throws the female partner, they also have to perform single jumps, especially in the current senior pair skating competitions, where top skaters start with a triple jump.

Huang Ying was not good at single jumps to begin with, and with her growth spurt, her ability in single jumps almost collapsed. She often bombed her single jumps in competitions, leading to comments domestically that she was holding back her male partner. The best solution would be to find a new female partner for Guan Lin who could perform the jumps without issues. Fortunately, they achieved stable results in the Sochi Winter Olympics, making comments about their performance positive.

Seeing this, Coach Ma embraced the two kids and said: “Huang Ying and Guan Lin grew up together. Guan Lin was the one who taught Huang Ying how to skate on the first day. They’ve been a pair for ten years now. They don’t want to separate, and I don’t want to break them up. However, there are some discussions at the top about splitting them. If they can’t achieve good results this season, the chances of splitting up are high.”

Huang Ying smiled, leaning on the coach, and firmly said: “Coach, don’t worry. Guan Lin and I will work hard together. We will never separate.”

Guan Lin nodded vigorously: “Yeah! If they insist on splitting us, Huang Ying and I won’t skate anymore.”

Zhang Jue thought to himself: “Don’t worry, you two won’t be split. Anyone daring to split you will be scolded badly by Director Sun.”

In fact, Huang Ying and Guan Lin were still quite young at this moment, but in Zhang Jue, he saw the shadow of a world champion in them.

Coach Ma was startled by Guan Lin’s words: “You brat, don’t say such things casually. Are you asking for a self-criticism?”

Guan Lin hurriedly explained: “No, I’m not Zhang Jue. I’m not interested in writing self-criticisms.”

Suddenly cued, Zhang Jue immediately became displeased: “I’m not interested in writing self-criticisms either, you know?”

According to the schedule, the next day was the pairs’ free skate and the ice dance’s creative dance. Since both were pair events, fans paying attention couldn’t avoid the legendary CP fans.

Zhang Jue had suffered from CP fans in his past life. Yuan Sijiang tried to hype up a mentor-student relationship between Zhang Jue and Yun Si, with Zhang Jue playing the role of a secretly infatuated supporting character. However, Zhang Jue didn’t cooperate and showed no affection toward Yun Si. After that, Yuan Sijiang’s fans changed their narrative, portraying Zhang Jue as a jealous and envious poor supporting character, while Yun Si and his brother would be happy and successful. Before his death, the comments under Zhang Jue’s Weibo were filled with harsh attacks.

The most classic comment Zhang Jue still remembered: “You’re just a dead broke loser, can’t stand others doing well. But our Yun Si and brother Yuan will definitely be happy. You, demon, can continue to envy and hate.”

This comment was repeatedly posted under his Weibo, with layers of replies, making it hard to forget.

However, figure skating fans, even though they ship pairings, won’t curse people for the sake of shipping. In Zhang Jue’s eyes, they are the most pitiful group among all the ship fans.

After all, to improve the judges’ impression scores through the emotional impact of the pair, many pairs in pairs and ice dance will appropriately create some ambiguity, which can be considered as enhancing the program’s effect. But when they retire, if the ambiguity turns into reality, it’s good. The big ship of love finally successfully sails to the end, and the ship fans see a complete ending, feeling satisfied.

But if this pair of partners has been just colleagues from start to finish, and the ambiguity is just part of the job, when they retire, it’s the time the big ship of love sinks to the bottom of the sea. At that time, the wailing of ship fans will be heard, and the miserable scene is unbearable to look at.

Anyway, Zhu Lin and Stephanie in Ice Dance immediately clarified their relationship after retiring. Then Zhu Lin got engaged, married, and had a child one after another, causing fans to cry while cutting a bunch of “The Truth is False” videos, commemorating their youth of shipping that ended in a shipwreck.

When the competition of this day ends, it’s almost nine o’clock in the evening. Zhang Jue returns to the hotel to prepare for sleep but is suddenly knocked on the door again by officials from WADA.

Yawning, Zhang Jue opens the door and sees that indifferent blond uncle. He helplessly says: “Why is it you guys again? Tell me, who had a problem with the drug test this time, causing all our athletes to be tested together by you?”

The blond uncle says: “We didn’t check everyone, only the top 10 athletes in each event.”

“And you are the first in the men’s singles short program. Whether it’s a random check or a regular check, you can’t escape. Come, drink some water.”

Zhang Jue skillfully opens the water bottle and starts pouring forcefully. While pouring, he asks: “Were there any problems with my previous drug tests?”

The blond uncle replies in an ice tone: “No, but we still need to check again.”

Zhang Jue says: “…Drinking so much water before bedtime can easily cause water retention, can’t you come over during the day next time?”

Another doping control officer casually says: “Athletes like you who have a competition tomorrow are the first batch we check. Rosen said we’ll go check others who don’t have a competition later, and it’s estimated to last until midnight.”

Rosen is the blond uncle with the deadpan expression. According to his partner, this guy seems to be considerate of athletes.

The next morning, Zhang Jue learned from Maquen and David that Angus Joe was in trouble.

Surprised, Zhang Jue asked: “How did he get in trouble? I remember this guy has asthma and has been legally taking medication all along, right?”

In his memory, this guy had been legally taking medication until the end of Sochi, and after that, he retired with the American team, hitchhiking a bronze medal in the team event.

David and Maquen glance at each other, look around and then lean over to Zhang Jue’s ear.

“His asthma is fake, and for muscle building and attempting the quad, his kidneys had problems. He was hospitalized last night.”

Zhang Jue became puzzled: “Why did he practice the quad? Isn’t a triple enough for him?”

Maquen expression was subtle: “How should I put it, originally, a triple was enough for him, but two years ago, a 12-year-old kid, inspired by watching your competition, decided to take up figure skating and started competing. With good natural talent, he achieved configurations not inferior to Angus in last year’s U.S. Nationals.”

Most importantly, that kid is white, while Angus Joe is Asian looking. So, within the U.S. Figure Skating, they felt that the talented white teenager was more worthy of promotion. As a result, Angus Joe’s treatment began to decline, and his original jump configuration really wasn’t impressive enough.

In this situation, Angus Joe became anxious. His dad had used his son to hype the image of a scholar-athlete, earned some endorsement fees, and became more reluctant to lose this source of income. So, he obtained prohibited drugs, causing problems for his son.

In short, this is the butterfly effect caused by Zhang Jue, and pulling it a bit, it does seem to have something to do with him.

Zhang Jue says: “…But starting figure skating at the age of 12 is already late, isn’t it?”

David and Maquen reply in unison: “Didn’t you also start at the age of 12?”

Zhang Jue works hard to express that he did start being an athlete at the age of 12, but he had a foundation. He had already mastered all double jumps at the age of 8 and even practiced the triple jump. He also had a good foundation in ballet and inherent endurance and flexibility.

In other words, he had a solid foundation for four years and was able to win the World Junior Championship in the first year of entering the junior category. As for the 12-year-old kid mentioned by Maquen, oh no, he should be 14 now. He started learning from scratch at the age of 12, which is completely different from him.

But for the U.S. Figure Skating, Zhang Jue’s solid foundation was no longer important. They just wanted a gimmick, someone like Zhang Jue, who started being an athlete at the age of 12, became a genius who climbed to the top of domestic competitions in less than two years, and has already decided to let North American judges praise this genius in the junior category.

In other words, they hope that the kid can also dominate the junior category.

Zhang Jue was also confused. Athletes eat based on their strength. Whoever is stronger will be awesome. If it’s someone like Ilya, who is strong, a little praise will naturally lead to promotion. But if it’s forcefully promoted, aren’t they afraid of the team eventually crashing?

He scratches his head: “Well, let me ask one last question. What’s the name of the kid who supposedly started skating because of admiration for me?”

“Arthur Cohen.”

Zhang Jue has never heard this name before. In other words, there is a child in his previous life who did not take up figure skating but, influenced by him, has now become an athlete.

Ignoring the mess, Zhang Jue unexpectedly felt a little proud.


Support translation:

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