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
Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.
Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.
Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.
She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.
Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.
Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.
Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.
The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.
Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.
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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.
Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.
The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.
In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.
Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.
“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”