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 Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Thursday it has picked anime director Hayao Miyazaki as one of three recipients of its Honorary Award this year. (Japan Times)
The National Police Agency and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications plan to assign an extra 3,000 officers over the next three years to deal with stalking and bank transfer fraud cases which are increasing. (Japan Today)
A Japanese district court ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday to pay some 49 million yen in compensation over the suicide of an evacuee from the March 2011 nuclear accident at the company's Fukushima No. 1 power plant. (Jiji Press)