Cover Photo: Affa Chan/Tatler Hong Kong

The Asia chairman of Phillips reveals the make-the-call moments that shaped his life

With his sportsman’s frame, handsome Eurasian looks and Eton education, Jonathan Crockett was always going make his mark upon the world. The eldest of five children of a close-knit Irish-Chinese family, Crockett excelled in competitive environments, a trait evidenced by his representing Britain in both rowing and skiing.

But when careers beckoned and his peers flocked to the cushy haven of finance, this art history and archaeology graduate harboured a different dream: to travel to China, connect with his roots and immerse himself in the burgeoning art scene there. Through self-belief, he set out for China, determined to prove that his instincts were right to eschew the established path for a more adventurous life. And indeed his instincts were right: Asia’s art scene exploded and his career took off.

But it was during this time that tragedy struck: his brother Jason was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and, in just 18 months, had passed away. “That was one of the hardest moments of my life. He put up a very courageous fight.” Watching his younger brother face overwhelming adversity with such immense bravery inspired Crockett to revive one of the family’s favourite childhood pastimes: downhill skiing in Swiss Alps.

Today, Crockett takes part in the annual Inferno, known as the world’s “craziest” amateur downhill ski race, to raise funds for charity and to remember his brother. With each passing year, the married father-of-two feels increasingly drained both physically and mentally by the race, but never fails to make the brave decision to step out onto the Schilthorn’s deadly escarpment, nearly 3,000 metres above sea-level. “My brother showed me what it is to never give up in the face of adversity.”

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