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.
A golf club designated as the venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has decided to allow women to become full members. Kasumigaseki Country Club has been a male-only golf course since its opening in 1929. (NHK)
Two-time champions Japan knocked out Cuba 8-5 in the second round at the World Baseball Classic with two stunning homers by slugger Tetsuto Yamada on Tuesday, moving another step closer to the final stage. (Japan Today)
The club that is set to host the 2020 Olympic golf tournament must change its policy of excluding women as full members or the event will go elsewhere, IOC vice president John Coates said Thursday. (Japan Today)
The Asian Winter Games drew to a close Sunday marking the end of an event which brought together some 1,200 athletes from a record 32 nations and regions for nine days of hotly contested continental competition. (Kyodo)