It was December 2020, John Hancock and his family were checking into a hotel just outside of Dubai, and they were drawing attention. Not because anyone recognised him as the eldest child and only son of Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart. The problem was their luggage: along with suitcases, the Hancocks were hauling several pairs of snow skis.
It would have been, Hancock tells The Australian Financial Review Magazine, the first time someone had brought their skis to the sand dunes of Dubai.
With admirable perseverance, the Rinehart scion had been trying to take his family on a holiday to the slopes. The Hancocks live outside of London, and a wave of COVID-19 infections was causing countries to close their borders to the UK. Their usual haunt of Whistler in Canada was off limits.
Hancock, 45, booked an apartment in Zermatt, and then, on the eve of departure, their British Airways flight to Switzerland was cancelled. But he was not going to give up without a fight. That’s not the Hancock way.