Japan's two-time world figure skating champion Miki Ando has revealed she secretly had a baby during a break from competition, but vowed to come back and seek a spot in next year's Sochi Olympics.
Pictures showing the 25-year-old and her baby girl were splashed over the front pages of sports dailies Tuesday, the morning after her revelation on a late-night television show.
"I became a mother after successfully giving birth in April," the 2007 and 2011 world champion said with a big smile on the TV Asahi network.
Ando, who has shunned competition in the last two seasons, did not say who the baby's father was. But media speculated he might be a 27-year-old professional Japanese figure skater who retired from competition after the 2010-2011 season.
Her interviewer quoted Ando as saying off camera that she definitely wanted to get married when "various arrangements have been made with the partner".
Ando said she would pursue her dream of competing in her third Olympics in February and then retire.
"I want to continue working hard on the rink in a responsible manner," she said.
Ando, who in 2002 became the first and only woman to land a quadruple jump in competition, said she became aware of her pregnancy last October when she pulled out of the 2012-2013 Grand Prix series citing insufficient conditioning.
The Japan Rugby Football Union on Wednesday targeted at least a berth in the last eight of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and medals in both men's and women's sevens at the 2020 Tokyo Games. (Japan Times)
Just over a year ago, the Japanese press was agog with stories of their "national treasure," Seibu Lions pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, going overseas to play baseball in the U.S. While bemoaning the loss of a homegrown star, there was also a hint of pride in Matsuzaka's ability to compete in the MLB. (Japan Today)