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It was lunchtime. People were gathered in the canteen, eating and chatting.
"Have you heard that the new coach is paired up with Aiguo Jiang!"
"Ew. Jiang is old and bad-tempered, he thinks he is superior to everyone else. Jiang must treat this new coach in the same way. Poor Li is going to have a hard time here!"
"I heard that Jiang had made some nice achievements. He was a national champion, wasn't he?" someone asked.
"That was ten years ago. Who would remember that!"
"I heard that the leaders are dissatisfied with Jiang's current status. They say that he is not capable of being an athlete any longer, and are planning to force him to retire. Is that true?"
"I would say it is 90% true. Jiang is 32 years old, his status can only get worse. Besides, he hasn't had any good performances in the last few years. In the men's 69-kilogram category, Liang Peng and Dongshan Cao are way better than Jiang, and they are pretty young. They are only in their twenties. Those young men should have plenty of room to grow. If I were the one who made the decision, I would definitely keep the young men and ask Jiang to leave!"
"If I were Jiang, I would apply for retirement myself. Why is he so shameless?"
"He must do that for money. This is his fourteenth year as a professional athlete. If he could stay here for fifteen years, he would receive a much better discharge bonus than he would right now. That's why he stays. But judging by his current condition, he may not be able to stay much longer. I heard that they have selected some high-flyers and are planning to send them to our team. If so, the leaders must reorganize our team for the newcomers. Jiang would be eliminated for sure."
"If you say so. The new coach Dai Li is unlucky. He is an authorized coach, but is paired up with a bad athlete who has neither good temper nor a bright future. I would say Li might be at the bottom when we have year-end performance appraisal."
"There is more to it than this. Jiang treats Li as an assistant coach, and orders him around all the time. Do you think that Li has displeased Coach Ma, so Ma is now retaliating against Li?"
"Here is a rumor!" someone suddenly lowered his voice with excitement. It was Xiang Huang. He seemed to have some big news.
The others immediately got into a huddle. Xiang mysteriously looked around, then told the story in a low voice. "This newcomer did offend Coach Ma in a terrible way. Coach Ma has a nephew who is an athlete and is going to retire this year. Coach Ma was planning to recommend his nephew to work for our team as a coach. He discussed it with Coach Song, and Song agreed. Ma thought it was all set. You guys all know that it is quite hard to be employed onto our team, don't you? Being a coach here is a decent job. What wishful thinking Ma had! But all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the leaders put Dai Li on our team. Li took the place of Ma's nephew, which means that Ma's nephew loses his future job. No wonder Ma is pissed off! I say Li is going to live in hell from now on. Poor Li has no idea what's going on."
"I see. So that's why Coach Ma kept mentioning his nephew to me, he was preparing for his nephew's recruitment! I can't believe that Ma is such a mean person! It looks like he is taking care of Li, but he is giving a smile of treachery!"
"Coach Ma is our second chief with power. If Li displeases Ma, he won't be able to stay here for long. I say you'd better stay away from trouble. Don't get too close to Li."
At the same time, Coach Ma was collating documents in the reference room. Not too long ago the weightlifters had a fitness evaluation. What Ma was collating now were the results.
This is Aiguo Jiang's evaluation report. No wonder he has been in such bad condition for so long, his body is overloaded. If he keeps training this way, there is an 80% possibility that he will have irreversible muscle strain!
Coach Ma concentrated on the phrase "irreversible muscle strain." Ordinary people may not have known much about this, but as a professional coach, Ma knew what it meant. It meant that the athlete would no longer be useful, and they would be just like a piece of scrap paper.
It was not rare to hear that an athlete was scrapped. These athletes would sustain lifelong injuries, and while the lucky ones might still be able to take care of themselves, the others may suffer from permanent disabilities. Regardless of how it happened, their careers would be brought to a premature end.
Jiang couldn't bare such intensive training any longer. Li is Jiang's coach, he is responsible for Jiang's performance. If one day Jiang fails, Li should take all the responsibility! When that happens he must leave! I won't give him any other choice!
Coach Ma was pleased with himself. He could see everything happening in front of him. That day would be one of the best days of his life.
I should hide this report so that no one else can read it, especially Li. If the others knew the truth, how could I kick Li off of our team! Ma hid the report inside his inside pocket.
"Li, come help me raise the barbell," Jiang instructed.
Dai Li immediately held the barbell. Jiang clenched his teeth, beginning to raise the barbell.
He is struggling. Is is too heavy? Wait, there must be something wrong. He looks like he is in so much pain! Li wrinkled his brows.
Is it due to injury? It's common for athletes like Jiang to have some kind of injury." Li glanced at Jiang's arms subconsciously. As an athlete, Jiang had very strong arms with a lot of muscle. However, what Li witnessed was Jiang's muscle trembling all the time. Li realized that Jiang must have reached to his power limit. The next second, Jiang seemed to be exhausted. He put down the barbell, breathing heavily.
His muscle seems to have reached its limit. He can't keep training like this, otherwise he will hurt himself! Li had professional knowledge, and he made a judgement at once.
I must stop him. He needs muscle relaxation. Thinking about this, Li asked, "Jiang, how about taking a break and allow me to give you a massage?"
"You? Are you sure? I never allow amateurs to do that on me." Jiang looked at Li surprisingly. In Jiang's eyes, Li was the one with no true ability. Even if Li did know about massage, he was definitely not a professional.
"I learned basic manipulations. Trust me, I can help you relax your muscle."
Jiang hesitated for a while, but finally he nodded. "Alright then, massage my arm first."
"Sure!" Li rolled up his sleeves and got to work.
I've been practicing on my pillow for days. Finally I can practice it on a real arm! Li stretched his arms. It was finally show time!
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