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Chinese ski teacher

Asian approach to life and skiing

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Xu Zhongxing, known in Switzerland as Johnson, is one of eight Chinese ski instructors invited here to try to make the alpine pistes more appealing to a growing number of Chinese tourists. swissinfo met Johnson in Grindelwald (Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch)

Johnson has become somewhat of a celebrity in the resort due to extensive media coverage, and is constantly greeted by passers-by as he walks down the street.

Johnson, a translator as well as a qualified ski instructor, arrived in Switzerland at the beginning of December 2013. It is his first trip abroad. He only started skiing in 2009 in his home resort of Chongli, three hours from Beijing. During the university holidays in 2010, he took an intensive training course to become an instructor.

The other seven Chinese ski teachers hired by Swiss Tourism have been sent to Davos, Engelberg, Gstaad, St Moritz, Verbier, Villars and Zermatt. The resorts were selected because they have a number of Chinese visitors.

Throughout the project, the instructors will feed a smartphone application in Chinese with ski lessons and tips, to get people back home in the mood for skiing in Switzerland. It is still a relatively new sport for the Chinese.