Freed from the constraints of competition, retired athletes often change directions. Some go into business, a few into TV, others into coaching or various endeavors.
For two-time world champion Miki Ando, it is all of the above.The former skating star looks to be more popular than ever now based on her busy schedule, which sees her traveling for work several days each month. (^ ^)
◉ Born：Dec 18 1987 (in Nagoya, Japan)
◉ Height： 1.62m (5 ft 4 in)
◉ Began skating：1995
Miki Ando is a Japanese former figure skater. She is the 2007 and 2011 World Champion. She is the first and only female skater to complete a quadruple jump successfully in competition.
She can now be frequently found in various parts of the globe or Japan for skating or other jobs. Shows in Rome and Madrid, coaching camps in Spain and the Netherlands, appearances in Tokyo and Sapporo, it all makes for a new and very busy life for her.Despite being the mother of a young child, she has undertaken a challenging a lot as she continues the transition from her skating days.
Ando says her second career began without a great deal of planning. It just kind of evolved as a result of her name recognition and contacts.
“The TV people were interested in me because figure skating is so popular now and I’m a former skater.” “They saw I had a different personality than when I was on the ice. I was thinking to keep myself busy and popular, because otherwise they are going to forget about me.”
Ando says that though she is often on TV, she doesn’t want to be constricted to just one field. “I don’t want to be only a TV talent.” “I am a figure skater for life. All the time I am on some TV show is because of sports. I go to some event because of sports or figure skating.”
“I am busy in the spring and summer for the skating shows, so it is hard for me to have TV work.” “Shows and rehearsals in this city, then come back and a couple of days later in another city.”
“People contact me in many ways for work.” “I have an official Facebook page, so they message me because they have no idea how to contact me. The TV people know each other so they know how to get in touch. For skating events, because I have so many friends in Japan and other countries, they will contact me through Instagram or a direct message on Twitter.”
By the way, Ando’s daughter Himawari (meaning “sunflower” in Japanese) was born in April 2013, after she had announced her intention to compete for a spot on Japan’s team for the Sochi Olympics. The news took many by surprise and created quite a stir in the media.
“Honestly, 98 percent of the people said it was so bad.” “Many people thought I had no respect as an athlete.”
“Because I had already announced I was going to come back.” “But so many sports commentators said it would not be possible.”
“What I saw was that it was because I was an athlete and (gave birth) without getting married.”
Ando herself was surprised when she found out she was expecting.“I didn’t know I was pregnant until I was five months along.” “I did not have any sickness and I felt fine. We did a blood test. I was surprised, because I was skating and performing. But it was a happy thing.”
Ando then talked about the difficulty that some female athletes have in maintaining a normal cycle.“Sometimes it is hard for athletes to get pregnant.” “We are training so hard. Sometimes we could not have a baby. Skating is really important for me, but I started thinking that after I stop skating it will be a longer life.
“It was most important for me to have a normal life for the future. I think it was destiny to have a baby and I was ready.”
“A sunflower follows the sun all the time.” “My image of flowers is a rose is gorgeous and strong and so nice. A sakura is pretty and cute. But I feel like when I see a sunflower I get good energy and I feel strong and so positive.”
“If my baby were to be a sunflower, I wanted her to follow a lot of love like a sunflower.” “I was hoping people that met her, like my fans, my family, everybody, got good energy from my daughter.”
“When I have work my Mom takes care of my daughter,” “But for skating shows I take her with me. For TV work or some event I ask my Mom. My daughter understands it’s my job.”
“To be a coach was my biggest dream as a figure skater since when I was nine and began skating,” “Actually I was competing as a top skater because I wanted to be a coach.”
“Because if I can be a good skater I can learn more and see outside countries.” “I went to America. I had a Russian coach, I had an American coach. Now I work with David Wilson a lot, who is Canadian. “I learned so many things, which is good for me for the future, for my dream😊
For now I don’t want to say I’m coaching. I go to so many places to help. I think if I say, ‘I’m coaching,’ it means I quit pro skating also just to be a coach.“But now I’m busy myself, so I can’t be there all the time, so that means I’m not coaching, just helping. Like an adviser.”
“I did a charity show and exhibition there and then the coaches asked me if I would take a look at some of their skaters, so I said, ‘Sure. If I have time I would love to do that.’ That is how I got into teaching.”
2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver, Canada
Music – Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus
Ando, who won her first senior world title in 2007 in Tokyo, believes that her work with young skaters has also helped her on a path of self-discovery.“I became a world champion, but now I have another life,” “I’m still learning about myself as a coach, as a skater, as a professional skater, as a person.”
Ando tries to draw the youngsters out while not intimidating them.“Especially the Japanese kids are really shy and quiet,” “I try to see their personality first, then I don’t want them to feel that I am a world champion, just one of the coaches who come for one week to teach them something new and fun.”
Ando then got sentimental remembering how she was infused with hope after losing her father in a traffic accident shortly after she began skating.“My first coach was my inspiration to be a coach,” “Rina Horie was the one who first helped me at the rink. She was the teacher and she asked me if I was interested in learning to be a figure skater, so I said, ‘Why not?,’ because I liked skating already.
“She was so nice and sweet,” Ando stated.☺️
“Especially after I lost my father, her smile it was shining all the time. I wanted to see her smile every day. I talked to her and I learned. I wanted to be like her. Smiling all the time and feeling something good together.”
Ando wanted to be a coach like her,” “She actually gave me the dream. I never had the dream to be a champion. I wanted to be a coach.”