While there have been numerous cases of top female athletes returning to competition after giving birth, it still remains rare in Japan. Judo star Ryoko Tani and marathoner Yukiko Akaba have been the exception not the rule, although the trend seems to be changing. With three months to go to the Sochi Winter Olympics, we will look at three athletes who are mixing the demands of motherhood with the challenge of making the Japan team.
With only about 1½ months left before the All Japan Championships—a key qualifying competition for the Sochi Olympics—she appears to be in store for a bumpy road to Sochi. But Ando has special determination and drive.
“As a mother, I want to show my child the spirit of aiming for a goal and not giving up,” she said.