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Haiquan Fang had left the youth team and gone to the national team. Dai Li did not pay much attention to it. As the son of a rich family, he would be taken good care of wherever he went.
As for Haiquan Fang's future, Dai Li would not worry. Haiquan Fang had a gift in broad jumping. If he worked harder, he would become a world-level athlete without a doubt. The training conditions and resources on the national team were much better than that of the provincial team. It was a great opportunity for Haiquan Fang, as he would get much better training there.
Other athletes in the broad jump team were of a D level. The best ones were a D+, while the worst were a D-. In Dai Li's eyes, they would have to work harder than others if they wanted to become professional athletes. But even if did become professionals, they would not make much progress. They may even leave after a short period due to a lack of progress being made.
Dai Li did not give up on these athletes, however, as they had come here with dreams. Dai Li felt it was his responsibility to offer them the opportunity to give it their best shot. Although their dreams may not come true, at least they would be given the chance to try.
The fact that Haiquan Fang was selected by the national team was great news for the other athletes on the broad jump team, as well as all the other athletes on the youth team. Someone who had set a good example had boundless power, especially when others witnessed their hard work.
Many young athletes were inspired by Haiquan Fang, and practiced harder than ever as a result. As a result, the track and field team had a better performance.
The lead coach of the provincial track and field team, Weidong Chu, had kept in touch with Dai Li. They had saved a position for him on their team and were finishing all the paperwork. Dai Li could have began the enrollment in advance, but when Weidong Chu heard that Dai Li had signed up for the Youth Training Program, he told Dai Li not to worry about the enrollment, but instead prepare for the program first. They would adjust Dai Li's position later. Apparently, they had attached great importance to Dai Li.
Dai Li understood Weidong Chu. Consistency was highly valued in sport training. If one had just arrived to the provincial team and would soon be sent to the national team, the consistency would be broken, which would be detrimental to the athletes. Therefore, Dai Li stayed on the youth team temporarily to train the young D-level athletes.
The phone rang. It was Bin Lu calling.
"Hi Coach Lu. Is this about the training program? Am I on the list?" Dai Li asked anxiously.
Bin Lu's voice was low. "They have chosen someone, but it is not you!"
Dai Li was shocked. He had thought he had advantages in age, degree, and especially in performance. He had thought that he would be the one selected to the Youth Training Program; he had not expected someone else to be chosen.
"Who did they choose?" Dai Li asked. He had proven himself by making Haiquan Fang a great athlete, so he wondered who had been deemed better than him.
"Xuexi Zhuang. He is twenty-nine this year, and is qualified in every condition they have," Bin Lu continued, "It is the hierarchy, you know. His uncle is the vice director of the provincial sport bureau. Weidong Chu and I tried to give you a hand, but we could not really help much. There is nothing else we can do. Do not feel bad. You are still young; you will get plenty of chances ahead."
Xuexi Zhuang again! Dai Li was furious.
Before that, Xuexi Zhuang had taken the opportunity to join the shot put team from Dai Li, leaving the broad jump situation for him. Luckily Dai Li had met Haiquan Fang, a talented straight-A athlete, and had managed to win the competition in the end.
This time, Xuexi Zhuang had taken the chance of training on the national team from Dai Li!
If the reason Xuexi Zhuang had gotten this opportunity was because Xuexi Zhuang was better than him, Dai Li would have accepted it, and would have even admired Xuexi Zhuang. However, Xuexi Zhuang had gotten the opportunity with his family's influence, and Dai Li could not bear it.
Bin Lu could feel Dai Li was upset, so he said, "Calm down, Dai Li. The reason why Xuexi Zhuang got the opportunity was because of his father, Director Xuexi Zhuang. You have to keep calm. Do not do anything irrational. We are in the system, we have to do what the system asks us to do…"
"I understand, these are the rules of the game. Do not worry, Coach, I will not do anything irrational." Dai Li took a deep breath and continued, "Coach, if there isn't anything else, I would like to be alone for a while if you don't mind."
"No problem! Feel free to call me whenever you want." Bin Lu understood that it might be better to leave Dai Li alone.
Dai Li put down his phone. Being disturbed by others was the last thing he wanted to worry about right now, so he turned off his phone and sat by himself silently.
The rules of the system? Dai Li laughed to himself, beginning to accept what he had just been told. It was the first time he felt disgusted with the system.
When he had graduated, it had been Dai Li's dream to become organized personnel and get regular pay. But now he felt he should give up this job to pursue justice!
What were the rules of the game? If you had a solid background and had better resources, you could steal the fruits of other people's labor? Those seemed to be the rules of the game!
People who did not have solid networks or backgrounds either had to find one themselves or work much harder for a small chance of being noticed by the top. This was also a rule of the game. But the latter road was much harder than the first one!
Dai Li inhaled deeply again. He did not have the courage to leave the system. He did not consider it for more than a second. He felt that he was being a coward, despite his mind telling him it was OK to compromise. He had to stay in the system if he wanted to have a stable income. He also would not give up this job because he needed the connections and networks on the team for the future.
Dai Li felt like crying all of a sudden, not only because he was unhappy with the result, but because he felt he was being weak, and did not know how to fight back!
He was only a normal person. He was not the leading character in a novel who lifted tables and beat his opponents with various tricks whenever he felt upset; he did not have a magic relative in his ring that could solve his problems, nor the courage to tell the world that he was strong and promising; he was not gifted in kung-fu, and could not climb the highest mountain in the world to look down at all the creatures on the earth.
He was an average person, and was used to living an average life, just going with the flow…
He was actually someone, though, as he had a strong network of coaches behind him, and was given the opportunity to train excellent athletes. Still, he could not do anything to prevent Xuexi Zhang from taking the chance to go to the national team from him.
Dai Li wanted nothing more than to get drunk and forget everything. He wanted someone to listen and share his feelings.
Suddenly, he thought of Zhongyi Xu. Even though there was a big age and hierarchy gap between them, Zhongyi Xu could be a good listener for him. More importantly, Zhongyi Xu was a good drinker to accompany him.
Dai Li picked up his phone, turned it on, and dialed Zhongyi Xu's number.
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