Olympic skier Kai Owens embraces personal history in return to China

February 6, 2022

ZHANGJIAKOU, HEBEI, China — Fifteen years or so ago, hundreds of miles south of this wind-whipped ski town, Amy and Jonathan Owens walked into a hotel conference room to meet their new daughter. Then 14 months old, the girl was asleep in the arms of her orphanage’s nanny when the American couple arrived, and upon waking she began to cry at the sight of the strangers there to adopt her. “She calmed down pretty quickly,” Amy says. “We were fortunate in that way.” At the time the girl was called Shiqi, but they made that her middle name and instead rechristened her as Kai, which in Mandarin means “victorious.”