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Kostner may retire, Ando committed to competing

Last two ladies world champions heading in opposite directions

Might her gold-medal victory at the 2012 World Championships have been the last time we see Italy's Carolina Kostner on competitive ice?
Might her gold-medal victory at the 2012 World Championships have been the last time we see Italy's Carolina Kostner on competitive ice? (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(07/06/2012) - Reigning world champion Carolina Kostner told an Italian magazine she's considering retirement from competitive skating, while 2011 world champion Miki Ando of Japan re-affirmed her desire to compete in this fall's Grand Prix Series.

"Now that I've had the satisfaction of climbing onto the world's highest stage, I'm happy, and I might choose to resume my (normal) life," Kostner told the weekly magazine Gente. "It's a tough decision, and I want to take a few more weeks to reflect."

Kostner is coming off her finest season, one in which she won gold at the Grand Prix Final, European championships and world championships.

She is 25 years old, however, which makes her one of the oldest active competitors.

"I've devoted all of myself to this sport for 10 years," she said. "I've sacrificed friends and affection, and sweated for every single victory."

Kostner expressed a desire to coach and finish her college degree.

"Then I have a dream, which is to devote myself full time to the theatre and opera," she told the magazine.

Ando readying for Grand Prix Series

While attending an awards ceremony in Tokyo this past week, Ando told the Japanese newspaper Sports Hochi that she will compete in the Grand Prix Series this fall, and has her sights set on winning the Grand Prix Final.

"I decided to do two Grand Prix, and I want to do my best," Ando told the newspaper. "I have not won the Grand Prix Final title, so that will be my goal."

She also said she had the choreography done for her short program while she was in Switzerland recently and that she is hopeful to include a triple-triple combination in it. Ando was noncommittal when asked if she planned to stick around until the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

With regard to the announcement that Yu-Na Kim is returning to competition, Ando said, "I am proud to skate with her on the same ice."

The 24-year-old, who did not compete at all last season, is assigned to the Cup of China and Trophée Eric Bompard.

She told the China Daily last month: "This year, I don't feel like I am ready for competition, but I signed a paper (with the International Skating Union) in case I want to do the Grand Prix circuit ... I don't feel I want to compete yet, but I signed the contract, so I have no choice but to try my best. Let's see how it works out."