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.

How I lost my heart to the supermen of the slopes

The downhill skiers risking all in the quest for gold today are more than racers living on the edge – they are the ultimate Olympians

'I had a look and it was just crash after crash'

From death-defying falls to the majesty of Torvill and Dean, British Olympians remember their winter highlights.

Shin injury leaves Vonn facing fitness race

Lindsey Vonn's chances of claiming Olympic gold to complete her much-decorated CV have been put in doubt after the overwhelming favourite for the women's downhill, and the US team's stellar name, disclosed that she is carrying an injury.

Sport in brief: Hauritz and Harris dazzle as Australia go four up

Cricket: Stellar performances from Nathan Hauritz and Ryan Harris helped Australia claim their fourth consecutive one-day international victory, by 135 runs, over Pakistan at the WACA Ground yesterday.

Skiing: Winner Kostelic mourns at combined's 'funeral'

Croatia's Ivica Kostelic won the World Cup combined event at Kitzbuehel yesterday, then criticised plans to replace it with the new-style super-combined from next year.

Extreme skiing: No safety bars on the chairlifts and no windows in the dorm – but Alta does have the 'Greatest Snow on Earth'

If God had been a skier, then on the eighth day he might have created the Wasatch Range. Both He and it loom large in Salt Lake City, home to the Mormon Church and what Utah's state slogan calls the "Greatest Snow on Earth". Pacific storms that suck moisture from the lake, having whipped east across bone-dry Nevada, have only one option when they swirl to a halt over this natural snow machine – to dump epic quantities of the kind of feather-light powder off-piste skiers dream about.

Skiing: Cuche keeps the Austrians at bay

Switzerland's Didier Cuche notched his third World Cup race of the season yesterday by winning the Super G at Kitzbühel, handing hosts Austria a frustrating start to their biggest weekend of the Alpine skiing year. Cuche, who has won in three different disciplines this season, beat home pair Michael Walchhofer and Georg Streitberger into second and third place as he followed up his giant slalom win at Sölden and downhill in Lake Louise. Streitberger was 0.01sec behind his compatriot.

Peter Lunn: 'I was furious if I didn't fall'

Peter Lunn shares the ups and downs of his long life in skiing with Adam Ruck

Skiing: Three in a row for irresistible Vonn

The American Lindsey Vonn thrashed her rivals again to secure a hat-trick of wins at the weekend in the Austrian resort of Haus Im Ennstal after taking victory in a World Cup Super-G yesterday.

Skiing: Aubert finds second wind to clinch World Cup slalom in Zagreb

Frenchwoman Sandrine Aubert claimed her second win of the season yesterday with victory in the World Cup slalom in Zagreb. Aubert, who also triumphed in Are, produced a brilliant second run to triumph in two minutes 0.36 seconds.

Skiing: Hoelzl underlines her slalom dominance but Vonn suffers injury

Germany's Kathrin Hoelzl strengthened her position as No 1 giant slalom specialist with a World Cup win in Lienz yesterday, while overall leader Lindsey Vonn failed to finish after crashing and hurting her arm.

Ski protection is more than gloves and goggles

Lots of the white stuff means good skiing, but don't forget to pack the right insurance, say Alessia Horwich and Julian Knight

Skiing: Slalom victory is Vonn to remember for Maria

Germany's Maria Riesch edged out arch-rival Lindsey Vonn to win the season-opening women's World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland, yesterday. World champion Riesch posted a combined time of one minute 48.71 seconds in her favourite discipline, 0.08 sec ahead of the American Vonn.

Travel challenge: A family skiing holiday in February half term

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a family skiing holiday in February half term. Prices are for two adults and two children...

Toni Sailer: Olympic skiing champion of grace and power who went on to a career in films and pop music

At the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Toni Sailer, who has died aged 73, not only became the first skier to sweep the Alpine triple crown, winning downhill, slalom and giant slalom, but did it with such domination that his margin of victory in the giant slalom has never been equalled. Sailer’s combination of grace and power was unmatched; rather than shave slalom gates he took a higher line, which meant a longer path but more speed, and demanded more control.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links