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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable