Miki Ando

World champion figure skater Miki Ando to skate competitively for first time in 2 years

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The last woman to beat Yuna Kim at a major international competition is making good on comeback plans after having a baby girl.

Japan’s Miki Ando, who beat Kim at the 2011 World Championships, was added to the field for next week’s Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Tuesday.

Ando, 25, has not competed since winning that 2011 world title, according to icenetwork.com. She made front-page news in Japan in July when she revealed on a TV show that she had a baby girl, Himawari, in April, hinting that she considered an abortion. Ando also won the 2007 world title and placed fifth at the 2010 Olympics.

She’s trying to make her third Olympic team for Japan, which earned three spots in Sochi. One of those spots will surely go to reigning world and Olympic silver medalist Mao Asada.

Other favorites include 2010 world junior champion Kamako Murakami and 2012 world bronze medalist Akiko Suzuki. Ando will likely have to finish in the top three at the Japanese championships in December to make the Olympic team.

Three-time European bronze medalist Kiira Korpi withdrew from Nebelhorn Trophy after suffering a partially torn Achilles, she said on Facebook.

Joannie Rochette won’t compete in Sochi

U.S. Olympic, USA Gymnastics leaders set for another Senate hearing

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Recently replaced U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry and Michigan State interim president John Engler are scheduled witnesses for a Senate subcommittee hearing next Tuesday on reforms following the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes.

The hearing is titled, “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” and will stream live at https://www.commerce.senate.gov/ on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“The hearing will focus on changes made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics (USAG), and Michigan State University (MSU) to protect Olympic and amateur athletes from abuse,” according to the subcommittee’s website. “It will examine recent reforms to provide safe environments for athletes and how these reforms are being implemented.”

The subcommittee held hearings April 18 and June 5 with testimonies from gymnasts and other athletes who were abused, former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon and former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics Rhonda Faehn. Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny also attended the June 5 hearing but refused to answer questions.

Lyons and Perry were questioned at a House subcommittee hearing May 23.

The USOC last Thursday named Sarah Hirshland its new CEO, replacing Lyons, who had been in the role on an interim basis since Scott Blackmun resigned in February. Blackmun, who had been CEO since January 2010, left citing prostate cancer and the USOC’s need to immediately address the USA Gymnastics sexual-abuse scandal.

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Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course with epic comeback (video)

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Annemiek van Vleuten, the cyclist who returned from a horrific Rio Olympic road race crash to become world champion, repeated as La Course winner with an epic last-kilometer comeback on Tuesday.

Van Vleuten sprinted from several seconds behind countrywoman Anna van der Breggen to win the one-day race, including four categorized climbs, contested on part of the Tour de France stage 10 course later that day.

“With 300 meters to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her dying,” Van Vleuten said, adding later, according to Cyclingnews.com, “With 500 meters to go my team director in the car gave up and stopped cheering for me.”

In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.

She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.

Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title, while van Vleuten returned quick enough to race at the October 2016 World Championships.

Van Vleuten, 35, won her first world title 13 months after the Rio Games, taking the time trial crown ahead of van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She also won the 10-stage Giro Rosa that concluded on Sunday.

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