Chapter 514: Zhang Ye's nationalistic youth spirit!
In the forested area.
On a platform.
"I even heard that he was a teacher?"
"It seems like he is a teacher from Peking University? The quality of teachers these days!"
"Peking University? What a disgrace!"
"Luckily the foreigners did not understand what we were talking about."
"Dad, that person was totally shameless. Even I feel embarrassed for him."
"If using a calculator was allowed, I could do it too!"
"Ignore him. Oh, looks like the competition is ending soon."
Whether it was people from the mathematics world or the park visitors, all of them were pointing at Zhang Ye and talking about him. They only stopped when they saw that the competition was about to end before heading over to the competition area to find out about the results. They were all looking forward to the competition results and ranking of their country's participants as it was a matter of national honor.
Meanwhile, Zhang Ye, having failed to win the cellphone prize and had even gotten into a big mess with everyone staring at him with contempt, was feeling terrible. He was almost on the verge of vomiting blood as he stared at the volunteer in anger.
When the volunteer noticed, she stuck out her tongue and made a face at him, as if to show him that she was not afraid of him. She was still convinced that Zhang Ye had cheated using a calculator.
When Zhang Ye saw this, he was even more annoyed. He nearly wanted to jump on her and bite her, thinking why he even deserved this in the first place. Forget it, this bro has gotten himself a new girlfriend today and was in a good mood, so he did not take it up with her. He had to admit that Wu Zeqing held a really important place in his heart. When Old Wu came over to see what was happening, she did not say anything and that was all that Zhang Ye needed to keep himself well behaved. All she had to do was to stand there and Zhang Ye would not dare to create a scene.
After the incident had passed, the surrounding crowd did not hang around anymore.
But when Xin Ya walked past Wu Zeqing, she said in a whisper, "Sis Wu, why do I feel that this friend of yours is a little unreliable?"
Wu Zeqing smiled but did not speak. She was not bothered by the comments, but went over to Zhang Ye's side and said, "You're even getting yourself involved in Math now? Aren't you a liberal arts practitioner?"
"I....sigh, let's not bring it up anymore." Zhang Ye rolled his eyes.
A crowd had gathered outside the competition area as the participants started streaming out from the competition grounds.
The demurely dressed Wu Zeqing looked over and said, "Let's go take a look over there."
Zhang Ye did not move and said, "You go ahead, Old Wu. There's too many people there and I prefer this quiet place. It's just as well since I want to look for a toilet to have a smoke at."
Wu Zeqing gently reminded him, "Smoking is not allowed in this place, so bear with it."
Zhang Ye helplessly replied, "Alright then, I'll listen to you."
Wu Zeqing smiled a little and said, "I'll head over there then. For such an international event, since I'm here, it'd be inappropriate for me not to go. Stroll around by yourself for now, I will look for you later."
"Alright, go do what you need to." Zhang Ye said.
When Old Wu left, Zhang Ye found a spot at a big rock display at the perimeter grounds. The area was littered with soft drink can tabs and burger wrappers, which Zhang Ye picked up and threw away before sitting down. He observed the crowd at the competition area and picked out Old Wu's figure, looking at her from behind in appreciation. He did not blink and no matter how he looked at her, he felt that he couldn't find anything that he disliked about her. This was not a sight that he would ever get tired of. Even though the pain of the loss of the cellphone prize was still embedded in his heart, it was really insignificant compared to the feelings he had for Old Wu!
A little before 10AM.
At the competition area below the gently sloping hill, youths from all over the world were gathered outside at the yard area. Most of them were teenagers around 15 years of age, while some of them didn't even look like they were 10. They were all geniuses in mathematics from all over the world. Each nation's team leaders and teachers also walked out with different expressions. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet! There were people of all kinds of colors!
A few young participants of China's team appeared looking rather down. Amongst them was a girl who looked to be oldest, with her eyes red and tearful.
When the park visitors saw this, their hearts sank.
"Did we lose?"
"What place did we get?"
"Little girl, don't cry anymore. You all were great!"
"Yea, you all did well. Quickly wipe your tears, Auntie can't bear to see you in such a state!"
This was their home ground and most of the park visitors were Chinese citizens as well. When they saw the team in such a dejected manner, they started shouting their encouragements to the children!
A Chinese middle-aged mathematician walked into the yard area with a heavy expression and asked, "What placing did you get?"
That girl's name was Huang Lingling and she was the eldest on the Chinese team at 17 years old. As the leader of the children, she wiped off her tears and answered with her teeth clenched, "3rd place. I...I made a mistake."
Behind her, a 12 year old member of the team pulled at Huang Lingling. He was Huang Leilei, Huang Lingling's brother. He said, "Sis, it's not your fault. Don't cry anymore."
"Leader, it's not your fault."
The other team members were also offering their consolations.
Teacher Wang Yiming, who was the team leader, and Peking University Mathematics department's Han Henian, who was here as observer, were with them too.
Wang Yiming was a forty something year old middle-aged man. He was a soft-spoken person and did not say much.
But Han Henian's expression was extremely bad. When they came out, he immediately said with a straight face to Huang Lingling, "You even practiced a similar question to the one that was given to you just now, why did you still get it wrong?"
The other Chinese mathematicians were also full of sighs.
Huang Lingling was still wiping the tears off of her face.
Her younger teammates did not know how to react and were blaming themselves for breaking their teachers' trust, as well as the expectations of the whole nation. Their mood right now was at rock bottom. At their peak, the Chinese team had gotten first place in the International Math Olympiad for three years running, but due to a small mistake last year, they had lost their hold on the championship. This year, not only were they unable to gain back first place, but they couldn't even defend their second place position.
The deputy leader of the team, Xin Ya also joined the group. She did not look like she was in a great mood either. Having worked so hard in the past year, from the team selection, training, and preparing for the competition, their results had dropped even further than before. This made her disappointed and she said, "We'll come back again next year!"
Huang Lingling said tearfully, "Teacher, I'm sorry."
The rankings for this year's competition were announced.
In first place, the United States.
In second place, United Kingdom.
In third place, China.
Seeing this, many of the visitors who had come to Summer Palace Park did not have the mood to watch on anymore. They were all preparing to leave, but an announcement mentioned the next round of events for the International Math Olympiad would be starting soon. When they heard this, they stopped in their tracks.
It wasn't over yet?
There were still further competitions?
It seemed like this International Math Olympiad was really not ending here and, according to previous years practice, an event would be held after the youth competition. The student participants, teacher leaders, and even the general public were allowed to take part to foster friendly international relationships among mathematicians of all countries and to create an opportunity for the exchange of information. They might not be able to communicate through their spoken languages, but Mathematics was their common ground and their medium of communication.
In this event, each participating country would set a topic and put up an equivalent prize to it. It was similar to the outdoor activities that were catered to the park visitors earlier that morning. If anyone could answer the topic satisfactorily to the requirements of the topic setter, they would earn the right to take home the prize.
The prizes were generally items that were representative of the countries. For example, China's prizes would usually be a national level paintings or the four treasures of the study, items that were either antiques or masterpieces. Some of the western countries had also put up a masterpiece oil painting in the past, but no one had been able to win it as the questions were too difficult to solve, though not unsolvable. Even if there were so many mathematics experts present, there were always some topics that were very tough and would take more than one to two days to complete. This was also one of the reason why some of the prizes were such treasures. There were also examples of some countries that put up money as the prize, handing out several tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands worth of scholarships. All of this depended on how difficult the topics were. Of course, there were also countries who were here to make friends and exchange knowledge with the others. Like United Kingdom for example, they were always gentlemanly in their behavior and put up a good prize every year for their topics which were relatively easy in comparison.
In short, each country had their own style.
The event this year was also another chance for the different countries to measure up each other's abilities and face off again on competitive terms. If they did not place too much importance on it, the participants would just chat and exchange their learnings with each other, contributing to a harmonious feel. Some countries who did not enjoy such good relations would prefer to fight it out and have a victor declared. These were the types of incidents that would attract the attention of the most people every year after the main competition was over, as there would surely be some countries whose mathematicians would battle it out with the other countries resulting in furious battle situations. But of course, such incidents were usually not reported by the media. The newspapers and television news agencies tended to not report such happenings.
The event began.
The official time the event ended was at: 5PM.
-Almost a whole day was allocated to this event and only at the end of it would the International Math Olympiad be considered complete.
If there was a competition, then there was always a resulting victor and loser. Many of the Chinese park visitors were still hoping for a chance at revenge, so they stayed behind to watch the going-ons.
"What are the prizes this time?"
"I don't know, but I'm really looking forward to it."
"Let's win the prize that the Americans put up for their topic!"
"Right, we have to show them what we're capable of! They've caused our children to be in tears!"
"The children might have lost their round, but the adults will surely win, won't they?"
Even though the Chinese Mathematics world has not contributed much with any breakthroughs to the Mathematics world, everyone knew very well that the Chinese were smart and had very high standards in Mathematics. Like Xin Ya, Wang Yiming, and the other mathematicians present, all of them were considered as tops in their field of mathematics. This was also the reason why everyone was paying a lot of attention to the second round of competitions.
One of them was Zhang Ye, who was seated at the outermost area away from the crowds. He was not interested in the competition itself, but rather on those kids who were China's representatives at the International Math Olympiad. Hearing the chattering from the park visitors, he had realized just how much time and effort these kids had put in, even delaying their studies and wasting away their youth just to be here for a chance at glory. Now that he saw how the student leader, Huang Lingling was crying with her team mates and the adults not caring about their feelings, he felt very uncomfortable. This bunch of mathematicians, including Old Wu's childhood friend, Xin Ya were really too much. The children had already given it their best, so what if they lost? Was it so difficult to give some consolation to encourage them? Why were all of them putting on dark expressions at the children? If Old Wu were not here and if not for her sake, this bro here would have already gone ahead to give all of you a scolding! What the heck was this!
And that bunch of foreigners too!
Fuck, how dare they bully our kids?
At this moment, Zhang Ye's nationalistic youth spirit was burning strong. His focus swept towards the group of people in the competition grounds. Everything just seemed wrong and unpleasing to his eye right now!