Japan's Miki Ando made her first step towards the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia by earning a silver medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Obersdorf, Germany on Saturday. She returned to competitive figure skating just five months after giving birth to a baby girl.
Ando earned 162.86 points in the short program and free skate combined, finishing second to Russia's Elena Radionova, who won a score of 188.21 points. Ando secured the minimum technical scores required for Olympic qualifying. She will compete in the Japanese nationals in December to try and secure a spot on the national team.
Ando, a two-time world champion in 2007 and 2011, admitted in a TV interview in early July that she gave a birth in April. She refused to disclose the identity of the father, however, providing grist for the rumor mill.
In what amounted to her first competition in two years and five months, Ando executed four different triple jumps without a mistake in the free skate but seemed short on stamina. She last competed professionally at the 2011 worlds.
"If I continue to practice, I think I can compete with the world's top skaters once again," she said. "I will be happy if my daughter picks up the sport too," added Ando, who brought her five-month-old daughter Himawari to Germany to watch her performance.