Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Dai Li was still in disbelief up until Feixiang Lin left. He had never expected to meet Feixiang Lin during a meal. Everybody knew who he was. He could be considered the best athlete in a decade.
Lin was a long jumper when he was a kid. At the age of sixteen, he had turned his attention to the men’s 110m hurdles, and was recruited to the national team in the same year. Two years later, Lin won a gold medal at the International Universities’ Games in men’s 110m hurdles. It was the first gold the country had received in the International Universities’ Games.
By the time he was twenty he had reached to the top. He broke the world record in the Olympics, and became the first male Olympics Champion in the country. One year later, he broke the world record again at the IAAF Super Grand Prix. The following year, he won another medal at the World Championships, which meant that he had achieved a Grand Slam.
Judging off his past success, Lin was expected to have a bright future, flying high in the sky like an eagle. However, an unexpected injury had bore him down. Most people had positive attitudes about him, saying he was only 25 and that it wouldn’t take him long to recover.
The next two or three years there were news stories shared on social media revealing "secrets" about Lin, like saying he had recovered or that his injury had gotten worse, although the public was doubtful about its reliability. At the same time, there were also some rumors going around about Lin, such as a rumor that he had dated a starlet, or that he had met an online celebrity in a hotel. Somebody had even said that Lin had had an illegitimate boy.
Over the course of the next few days, Li’s main objective was to help Feifei Yu lose weight. The training time was not on a fixed schedule due to the fact that Feifei was still training with the national team. They had to put formal training before anything else. Because of this, Li had to wait until Feifei finished her formal training before they could begin their private training.
The swimming team only knew that Coach Xu had sent Feifei a young coach, but they had no idea what they were actually doing, and surely not that they were only performing the Slimming Exercise.
The Slimming Exercise had immediate results that were not scientific at all. So far there were only three people who knew this: Coach Xu, Feifei Yu, and Aiguo Jiang. The weightlifters knew that Dai Li was good at helping athletes lose weight, but they didn’t know how. This was why they ony thought of him as a normal fitness coach.
Several days later, coaches from other provinces gradually arrived at the Beikou Training Center. There were dozens of people, and after they had all registered, they received new meal cards. From then on, Li would not have to eat out.
The incoming coaches introduced themselves to each other, and that night they arranged a dinner party so they could all develop relationships. Normally the dinner table was a nice place to get to know new friends, with a few drinks to help break the ice. After a delicious meal, the new coaches were familiar with one another, and they began chatting.
"I asked about our tasks when I got here. We will work as assistant coaches and be paired up with the coaches on the national team. They must be experienced and professional."
"Yeah, I heard that, too. Coach Jihai Ding and coach Jun Fang are with the team right now, recently they have not received any new tasks. One would be lucky if they were paired up with either of those two coaches. They are worth learning from."
Coach Ding and coach Fang were famous coaches on the track team. Coach Ding was in charge of hurdles, and had helped develop several famous 110m hurdlers, including Feixiang Lin; Coach Fang was famous for middle and long distance running, and had trained some of the world champions in women’s 5,000m and 10,000m running.
"Do you think it’s a good thing that we are here? Let me tell you the truth, we are here to be handymen!" a voice rang. It was from a local coach.
Donggang was a municipality, which meant that it was directly under the central government’s control. Moreover, the training center was located in Donggang, which meant that whenever the national team needed a helping hand, they would give priority to the Donggang sport team. The local coaches knew exactly what it meant to be on loan in the Beikou Training Center.
"We are here to be servants. The coaches on the national team, and even the athletes, can order us around like we are butlers." He was speaking the truth, which left the others discouraged.
"But if you are with a famous coach you will see some benefit. Once the coach leads a team for contests, you will have it easy for a while."
The next day, early in the morning, the new coaches gathered in the training hall to be put into groups.
"Guanglin Zhao, you go with coach Jihai Ding; Feibai Meng, you are with coach Jun Fang; Tianzan Qiu, you are with coach Jinrong Hu..." Director Zhang continued as he read the list.
Everybody had a place to go to except for Dai Li. At the end, Director Zhang called his name.
"Dai Li, you go find Feixiang Lin. You will be in charge of his training." Zhang then explicitly told Li, "Do whatever Lin tells you to do. Don’t ask questions."
Everyone looked at Li. The others had all been allocated to a professional coach. Only Li would be following an athlete who was super famous.
Li remembered that a couple days ago when he had met Lin that Lin had promised to have Li as an assistant. It appeared that Lin had kept his promise. However, when Li looked around, Lin was not present.
It’s half past eight now, the athletes should be at their positions. Where is Lin? Li was confused. He trotted over to Director Zhang and asked, "Director Zhang, where can I find Feixiang Lin?"
"He is not here yet?" Director Zhang did not seem surprised. He looked outside, then told Li, "He hasn’t come yet. How about you wait near the gate?"
Dai Li kept waiting. Lin finally appeared after 9AM. He yawned again and again, visibly sleepy. Li immediately walked up to him.
He had no idea how to address Lin, but he decided it would not be a good idea to call Lin by his last name. In the end, he decided to just call him "Lin."
"Good morning, Lin!"
Lin was three years older than Li, so LI mimicked Feifei and addressed him the same way Feifei had.
"Dai Li, there you are. You are working with me then!" Lin waved to greet him, then said, "Come on, let’s do some warm-ups first."
"Lin, who is your coach?" asked Li.
"Coach? I don’t have a coach. I train myself. But now I guess I have you," Lin said straightforwardly.
No coach? He trains himself?
Li was surprised. It didn’t make any sense. Lin was the trump card for the national team, how could he train by himself?
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