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Ando reveals she gave birth to daughter in April

Two-time world champion kept pregnancy secret from media

A Japanese sports daily shows Miki Ando holding her baby in her arms.
A Japanese sports daily shows Miki Ando holding her baby in her arms. (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(07/02/2013) - Miki Ando, the two-time world champion from Japan, revealed in an interview that aired on Japanese television Monday that she became a mother to a daughter in April.

The 25-year-old skater said she found out she was pregnant last October. She admitted she initially was torn about whether to abort the baby.

"Skating is something indispensable that has brought me up to where I am," Ando said in the interview.

"I could not make up my mind all the way, but I hated to make a decision to say goodbye [to the baby]. I have chosen the baby's life over skating," she continued. "It was a decision I made naturally as a woman."

The baby's name is Himawari, which means "sunflower" in Japanese. It weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces at birth.

While the identity of the father was not made public, Japanese media has reported she is living with former competitor Yasuharu Nanri. Ando has also been romanticaly linked to her former coach, Nikoli Morozov, but he told Fuji TV on Tuesday that he is not the father.

Ando's last competitive appearance came at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow, where she won the title over Yu-Na Kim. She has repeatedly said she is committed to returning to competition but has sat out each of the last two seasons.

Ando said she resumed training a month after giving birth, with an eye toward qualifying for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. She performed in the "Art on Ice" show in Tokyo last month.