Travel Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

The number of Brits planning to go to Sochi in Russia for the Winter Olympics in three weeks' time will be minimal. Apart from the usual Russian visa requirements, flights are limited, a special "spectator pass" is required in a bid to combat security threats and prices for accommodation and the top events are very expensive.

Hazel Irvine, Clare Balding and Jonathan Edwards will lead the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage

Clare Balding and Charles Dance lead BBC's digitally-enabled Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics coverage

Channel promises 'the most complete digital coverage of a Winter Olympic Games to date'

Lindsey Vonn

Sochi Olympics 2014: Lindsey Vonn delivers major blow to the Games with announcement she will not compete

The American had hoped to return in time for the Games in Russia

Powder room: a skier on the ‘White Track'

5 ways to... Ski in Val d'Isère

From off-piste runs to top chalets, this resort has it all.

Book review: The Interestings, By Meg Wolitzer

A summer-camp alliance sets the course for lives that intersect across decades of change

Saburo winning the juvenile maiden at the Curragh yesterday

'Awesome' Dawn Approach lifted by O’Brien doubt over Kingsbarns

Not for the first time, the beat of the betting tom-tom has proved accurate.

Nascar drivers Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr

The Last Word: Is it any wonder bionic sports stars gravitate towards one another?

Among all celebrities, it is the athlete who requires the shortest conceptual leap from stags measuring their prowess before the herd

Ted Ligety is one of many racers incensed by the new rules

The Last Word: Ted 'the Shred' at the centre of a slalom ski storm

Ligety is doing all this on skis he has fixed to his boots with revulsion

<p>1. Montane – Shell Velocity</p>
<p>Designed for biking in the harshest of conditions, this coat has remarkable water resistance. It's also windproof, reflective and very durable. There are separate versions for men and women and there's a choice of different colours.</p>
<a href=£65, outdoorgb.com" title="

1. Montane – Shell Velocity

Designed for biking in the harshest of conditions, this coat has remarkable water resistance. It's also windproof, reflective and very durable. There are separate versions for men and women and there's a choice of different colours.

£65, outdoorgb.com" width="80" height="60" onclick="location.href='http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/features/the-10-best-waterproof-jackets-8194590.html';" class="" />

The 10 best waterproof jackets

Whether fell-running, mountaineering or just wandering down the high street in the rain, keep dry in one of these coats

Hollande told Cameron that Europe would pool its medals so Britain would be happy in the EU

Hollande twists the knife over France's success

French president told Cameron that Europe would pool its medals so Britain would be happy in the EU

The diver: Willi Simon, 79

Who needs a bus pass? Meet the silver sportsmen and women still going for gold...

Growing older doesn't have to mean becoming less active. These pensioners proving are that advancing age doesn’t have to dull athletic endeavour.

Vail resorts ride the ups and downs of the ski market

The Snow Report

Skiing: Mielzynski pulls off slalom shock

Former water-skier Erin Mielzynski caused a surprise yesterday, winning a World Cup slalom in Ofterschwang in a combined time of one minute 53.59 seconds. The 21-year-old Canadian had a previous best finish of 13th at this level. "I just skied on race day like I do in training," she said.

1. Purgatory colorado print, from £14.99 for Premium Poster

Traveller's guide: Late-season snow

Fancy some fun in the sun? The time to hit the slopes is as spring takes the edge off winter's chill, says Matt Barr

Ivica Kostelic on his way to a third straight win in the Wengen slalom

Skiing: Kostelic's third straight win equals Stenmark feat

Ivica Kostelic proved the master of Wengen yet again yesterday, winning a World Cup slalom to close the gap on overall leader Marcel Hirscher.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

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Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own