Three-time World figure skating champion Mao Asada has returned to training after taking last season off and may return to competition, according to her website.
“I began to think during my time off that I could do it again,” Asada wrote in Japanese, according to a Wall Street Journal translation. “I will keep my hopes high and continue practicing every day.”
Last May, Asada said she was “50-50″ about returning to competition after she would take the 2014-15 season off.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to compete or not, so it’s still much too early to think about the Olympics,” Asada said in a press conference later Monday, according to Reuters.
Asada, 24, won silver at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics behind Yuna Kim, but she lost any shot of a medal in Sochi with a 16th-place showing in the short program. She rebounded to finish sixth at her second Olympics and then won her third World Championship one month later in Saitama, Japan, without Kim and Russian Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova in the field.
“I had meant for Sochi and the World Championships to mark my last year, and after that was over felt I’d done everything I could and didn’t want to skate again,” Asada said, according to Reuters. “But as the days passed and my time away from skating grew longer, I started to feel that yes, skating is essential for me.”
Asada said she was mentally and physically tired and wanted a chance to focus on other things, like college. She graduated in March.
Last season’s World Championships, won by Russian Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, included zero prior Olympic or World Championships women’s singles medalists.