The Life of Miki Ando
Her life and childhood
Not every celebrity’s life is amazing. In fact, many people who are either famous or successful may have experienced a few struggles before actually reaching triumph. This is pretty much true for Miki Ando. She was born on December 18, 1987, in a small town in Nagoya prefecture in Japan. Her father died when Miki Ando was very young and his death has contributed a great deal to her personal struggles. Although they did not experience many hardships financially, a single mother raising her child is not an easy feat in Japan. Miki Ando saw this in her mom and has struggled with it emotionally as she grew up.
Early Career and Education
Despite her struggles, Miki Ando grew up a beautiful and loving lady. She focused her emotions on her craft as a figure skater and used her experiences to draw motivation and inspiration for her work. Because she had focused much on her career, she had dropped out of school and did not get a high school diploma. Because of this, she entered Chukyo University in 2006 as an adult learner.
Ando started to learn how to figure skate at the young age of eight. She learned alongside sisters Mao and Mai Asada who was being trained at the time by Yuko Monna in 2006. At the time, her coaches and choreographers saw that she had a potential in her and soon she was taken under the wing of famous coach Rina Horie.
Rising Figure Skating Star
In 2000, the time she was beginning her professional career as a figure skater, she was taken under the care of Nobuo Sato. The man who also coached Fumie Suguri. She joined junior leagues and junior competitions and immediately nailed her first few performances. Just the first year starting formally as a professional junior skater, Ando already gained the title of Japanese Junior Champion in 2001. During this time, she was already nationally popular.
Junior Grand Prix
The Junior Grand Prix or JGP was her first international gig. She first entered this competition in the 2000-01 season. Not only did she qualify for the JGP final, she also won her first gold. A prodigy in the making, winning her first gold in her international debut. People in the industry immediately talked about her and her amazing talents. Although she did not win the gold back-to-back, Ando still took home the Bronze medal in her second year in the Junior Grand Prix. She joined again, a third time, determined to take back the trophy in the 2003-04 season and successfully won the gold medal for Ladies’ Single event.
World Junior Championships
The Junior Grand Prix was not the only event Ando was busy about during this time. She also joined the World Junior Championships in hopes of getting a bigger exposure to potentially qualify for bigger events in her future. She joined the World Junior Championships the first time in 2002 and won bronze on her first try. The next year, she got better luck as she won second place. In 2004, she finally achieved sweet success after winning gold for the first time in the World Junior Championships. In less than five years, she has three gold medals on her wall – all for international events.
Work as a Senior Skater
Now that she has achieved pretty much her goals in the junior leagues, it was high time for her to start eyeing bigger events. She finally graduated the juniors and officially started as a senior skater in the 2004-05 season. During this time, she took her transition quite eventually focusing locally and on much lighter events like the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. She won her first National Senior Title in 2004.
Knowing that she has bigger fish to fry, she finally relocated to the US in 2005 to gain more exposure and more formal training. She was taken under the wing of Carol Heiss Jenkins and they immediately eyed the Olympics. First, she joined the 2005 Cup of Russia winning a silver medal. Then, she joined the 2005 NHK Trophy but only finished 4th. Then, for her first Grand Prix, she failed to qualify for the finals.
General Statistics and Profile
Titles and Awards
Many experts have noted that Ando is a talented skater but does not have the Olympic luck. She has been chosen to represent Japan twice in the Winter Olympic games but fails to place. However, she always wins gold medals and grand titles a season after EACH Winter Olympic appearance. In 2007 and 2011, Miki Ando won the gold medal for the World Championships held in Tokyo and Moscow respectively. She also won bronze in the 2009 World Championships held in Los Angeles.
Other than these medals, she also placed in the Four Continents Championships twice. She first won a bronze in 2008 and officially won a gold in the 2011 Four Continents Championships held in Taipei. This is her second gold medal in 2011, after appearing in the Winter Olympics just a season prior.
Miki Ando’s Quadruple Jump
Despite not taking any gold medals in the two times she appeared in the Olympics, it does not mean that she is not a remarkable figure skater. Miki Ando is the only female figure skater to ever land smoothly from a quadruple jump while in competition. At the time, she was just 14 and was competing for a junior national event.
What is so special about a quadruple jump? It is the ability of a figure skater to propel themselves into the air, turn four times in just a few seconds and flawlessly land on their feet. This may sound easy but it is actually such a difficult task. Skaters must exert a force almost triple their body weight to be able to propel themselves high and rotate their bodies that fast and that many times in a short amount of time. This is on top of having to use one’s bladed feet to cushion a fall with this massive amount of force.
Famous figure skaters have done this while in practice but even the best of the best have yet to complete this while in competition. This is why it is so incredible to find that a small girl, in her teens, could achieve so much. However, there are a few times that Ando still fails to make her quads right during competition.
2006 Winter Olympics
Despite not winning golds for her competitions, Ando was still named a representative of Japan for the 2006 Winter Olympics. This is due to the fact that her performances both as a Junior and a Senior skater were considered in the criteria. She was able to complete for the qualifying rounds but sadly fell multiple times during her performances. She even failed to successfully land on her feet after a quadruple jump attempt. Because of this, she did not qualify for world championships and finished only 15th in the rankings. Despite this, she considers her first appearance in the Olympics an important highlight of her career.
2010 Winter Olympics
The second time Ando was chosen to represent the Olympics, she was much better prepared. She learned all the works of being a senior skater and was able to compete with flying colors. So that she could qualify for the Olympics, she needed to compete with other Japanese figure skaters and must get the highest medal out of all Japanese competitors during the Grand Prix Final. She competed for the Grand Prix Final and placed first in the short programs. She was placed second in the free skates. Although she only won second place overall in the Grand Prix Final, she was the top Japanese medallist in the Grand Prix.
During the 2010 Winter Olympics, she ranked fourth in the short program. She also ranked sixth place in the free skate event. Overall, she ranked fifth – a place leagues higher than her first Olympic appearance. She was proud to have represented the Japanese people in the winter Olympics for the second time.
Miki Ando’s Social Media Accounts
Miki Ando on Instagram and Miki Ando on Twitter
Since her competitive days, Miki Ando has been quite a darling on social media. She has been an inspiration to thousands of women not only in Japan but all over the world for taking part in fighting for rights of single mothers in the world. She made a stand and stood ground on her decision, even if it meant giving up competitive figure skating. Now, she is everywhere and the two time Olympian is a celebrity in her own right. She can be seen enjoying her carefree life with her daughter on her social media pages (both on Instagram and Twitter).
Personal Life and Romantic Relationships of Miki Ando
Miki Ando and Javier Fernandez
Miki Ando and Javier Fernandez, also a famous figure skating Olympian, had been dating since 2014. They are currently known as the figure skating power couple especially since both of them try to get golds for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Miki Ando and her Coach Nikolai Morozov
Many people have commented on the relationship between Miki Ando and her long-time coach Nikolai Morozov. This was during their partnership starting 2007. There were rumors that Morozov, who was 33 at the time, bought an apartment for Ando, 21. They were rumored to have overstepped their professional boundaries by living under the same roof.
This rumor started when a young girl came out of the balcony hand-in-hand with Morozov. It was unclear, however, who the girl was at the time. There was a confirmation that they were, technically, living under the same roof but to the dismay of many gossip-lovers. Morozov came to the defense of his young prodigy saying that they live in the same apartment building but, of course, in different apartment units. As it turns out the ‘young girl’ that Morozov was seen within his balcony was none other than his daughter from his second marriage. This has officially shut down all other gossip and rumors about Mozorov and Ando’s so-called affair.
Rumors were on fire again after Miki Ando announced that she was pregnant. She proudly said that she has decided to have the kid as a single mother and let her child grow up without a father. She will not say who the father was under any circumstance. The same year, she broke off ties with her coach. Many people suggest that Morozov is the father of her child, but nobody knows for sure.
Miki Ando’s Retirement: Her Daughter Over Figure Skating
Miki Ando’s Daughter and her Baby’s Father
The famed figure skater hit rock bottom when she became pregnant with a child, out of wedlock. This was quite a shock to her fans, especially due to the conservative background of Japan. Also, some brands sponsoring her started to think twice because such behavior was not healthy for her young followers. She originally thought of having the child aborted. She kept mum and still does about the identity of her daughter’s father.
Despite all these tribulations, Miki Ando was happy that she decided not to and she is more than ecstatic to choose her child over her career. On top of that, this was the time she broke off her professional relationship with Morozov. She was pregnant, she does not have a coach, and she officially resigned from her work at Toyota Motors. It was a difficult time for her. But she got back to her feet as soon as she gave birth to Himawari on April of 2013.
Her retirement did not mean that she was officially out of the limelight. After announcing her retirement, she immediately became a coach and a choreographer for young figure skaters in Rome, Madrid, and the Netherlands. She still performs (out of leisure) in Tokyo and Sapporo. She is also a popular TV personality, hosting various sports event all over the country.