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Sign language Federer named ‘sign of the year’ by Swiss deaf society

Following victories in Melbourne, Wimbledon and Basel this year, Roger Federer is “in everybody’s hands”, according to the Swiss Deaf Association, which on Wednesday named the Swiss tennis player ‘sign of the year’. 

In sign language, Federer is represented by his bandana, which he wears during every match. The gesture, which the man himself performs as he introduces himself in the video below, involves tying a bandana behind one’s head. 

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Federer doing sign language

Federer, 36, came back from injury to win the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, taking his grand slam haul to a record 19 titles. 

Deaf people use symbolic signs to refer to famous people to save themselves having to spell out names using the finger alphabet. As the Swiss Deaf Association explained on Wednesday, the sign usually originates from a “prominent visible characteristic”. 

It is the second time such an award has been given. Last year it went to Donald Trump, whose sign involved imitating his unique hairstyle with one’s hand. 

Federer was delighted by the honour, the association continued, and he invited a few of its members to help him with his sign and some simple sentences. “With good humour and coordination, he was soon able to introduce himself to sign language,” the association said.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ts

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