Two-time world figure skating champion Miki Ando splattered newspaper front pages in Japan on Tuesday after she revealed on a Monday night TV show that she had a baby girl during a break from competition.
Ando, the 2007 and 2011 world champ, hinted that she considered an abortion before giving birth in April, according to Agence-France Press.
“I could not make up my mind all the way, but I hated to make a decision to say goodbye (to the baby),” Ando said, according to AFP. “I have chosen the baby’s life over skating.
“It was a decision I made naturally as a woman.”
Ando, who has landed a quadruple jump in competition, said she will still try to make the Japanese team for the Sochi Olympics, which would be her third Games, and then retire, according to AFP. Ando was fifth at the 2010 Olympics and 15th at the 2006 Olympics, when she was 18.
Japan is deep again in ladies figure skating, so Ando’s task will be tough. There’s 2010 Olympic silver medalist Mao Asada and 2010 world junior champion Kanako Murakami, who placed third and fourth, respectively, at worlds in March. Akiko Suzuki, the 2012 world bronze medalist, is the third favorite at the Japanese championships in December, where Ando will almost surely have to make the podium to have a shot at selection into the three-skater Olympic team.
Ando, who hasn’t skated competitively in nearly two years, is reportedly without a coach and did not receive Grand Prix assignments for the upcoming season.