SHIJIAZHUANG, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- After living in China for 40 years, Peter Merker from Germany considers northern China's city of Zhangjiakou his second home and spares no effort to publicize the Winter Olympics.
Born in Berlin, Germany, Merker was interested in Chinese history at an early age and started studying Chinese. In the 1980s, he graduated from Peking University, earning his doctorate degree.
The China hand gave himself the Chinese name "Mo Ke," which not only sounds similar to his last name but also exposes his identity as a fan of traditional Chinese history and culture. The name is composed of the names of two Chinese philosophers, Mozi and Mencius.
After graduation, Merker worked for a German company in China. He met his wife, who was born in Zhangjiakou and settled down.
As the co-host city of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Zhangjiakou, a city in Hebei Province, has attracted worldwide attention. Merker has also made contributions through online publicity.
Merker shot a large number of short videos about Zhangjiakou and ice-snow sports, and released them online, which introduce local representative industries such as a ski resort in Chongli District, winery in Huailai County and the cloud data center in Zhangbei County.
He also co-organized the column "Let's go Winter Olympics" with the local TV station, telling the history and culture of Zhangjiakou and introducing the rich intangible cultural heritage projects of the city to the world.
"Many people from overseas always have a one-sided cognition of China. Only by seeing it with their own eyes can they truly understand this country," Merker said.
The talented man has even assembled several Chinese musicians to form a rock band, and the music video for the band's latest single, "I Love Zhangjiakou," has been shared and liked more than 5,000 times on WeChat.
In 2016, Merker edited a book named "Zhangjiakou Through the Eyes of Foreigners," inviting more than 20 overseas friends to tell their stories about Zhangjiakou. Rosi Mittermaier, a retired German World Cup alpine ski racer also wrote a preface.
In addition to helping with publicity, in recent years, Merker has also advised on the development of Zhangjiakou and participated in the preparations for the Winter Olympics, smart city planning and other projects.
"The upcoming Winter Olympics offers the city an important development opportunity in terms of green and sustainable development," said the German.
He also served as an observer in the operation test of Zhangjiakou Olympic Village. "As a 'fussy' German, I can't help but give a thumbs-up to the facilities and services in the village," Merker commended.
"Zhangjiakou is my second home and I hope to make greater contributions to it," he added. ■