U.S. Olympian Kai Owens won over a nation of fans at the Beijing Winter Olympics Sunday.
She made it into the moguls finals but was eliminated in the second round. However, Reuters reports her story touched her birth nation-China.
According to the Daily Mail, her birth parents abandoned her as a child in China. A couple in Colorado would subsequently adopt her at 16 months old.
‘When my skis touch the snow in China, it’s going to be a really special moment for me because I get to ski in the Olympic Games in my birth country. It’s crazy how life works,” she said before leaving for the Olympics.
Owens told the Daily Mail her trip to China would be all about competing, but she said she would return with her parents someday to her village in hopes of finding her birth parents.
Viewers in China sent her messages of support.
“She did well and she’s just 17 she has a long way to go,” said one fan on Weibo, according to Reuters.
“I could never imagine her life without her adopted parents. I feel complicated reading the news about her,” said another.
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