Sport Elise Christie of Great Britain (centre) competes in an ISU speed skating event

Training against their male peers has given Britain’s female contingent an extra edge going into Sochi – raising hopes of the team’s best return since 1936

Lizzy Yarnold is among the brightest hopes for Team GB in Sochi

Winter Olympics 2014: Team GB announce squad of 56 athletes who will attempt to make it most successful ever games

A minimum target of three medals has been set - with as many as seven a possibility

Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

Ski news: 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.

VIDEO: Surfer takes on huge waves amid 'The Black Swell' sweeping over the Atlantic

'It's as dangerous as it gets' explains big wave rider

Large waves break along the coast at Porthleven, Cornwall where a 26-year-old man went missing on New Year's Eve.

New Year 2014: Two people feared drowned in Devon and Cornwall

A man and a woman died in two separate incidents on New Year's Eve

Tom Hodgkinson: 'I never learnt to 'ollie', but my son sure as hell will'

It's often said that those who have failed in adult life look to their children to succeed. They become pushy parents and live vicariously through their children's achievements. This is now happening to me. But I'm not hoping that my children will become lawyers or doctors or hedge-fund managers. I'm hoping that they'll be good at skateboarding.

Britain’s Zoe Gillings was eighth in the snowboard cross at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and has high hopes of doing better than that in Sochi in 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: Zoe Gillings is a hopeful jump ahead

British winter sport is no longer a joke. Robin Scott-Elliot meets a genuine medal prospect for Sochi, where no competitor will be better prepared

A statue of surfing legend Eddie Aikau, Honolulu

Sporting Heroes: Eddie Aikau, the bravest surfer of all

On the Hawaiian island of Oahu, it’s not the widely known sporting icons who are the most revered, but surfer Eddie Aikau.

Invensys's 194-year history encompasses BTR – the British Tyre & Rubber Company

Last stand can't stop Invensys going French

Mark Leftly sees the British technology company's ageing investors fail to prevent its sale to Schneider Electric

Coastal vote: Noosa Heads in Queensland

My life in travel: Mark Webber

'I remember long days on the beach, with seafood, surf and family time'

Book review: The Interestings, By Meg Wolitzer

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

A wipeout as Billabong dives deep into red

The value of the Billabong brand has been wiped out after the surfwear group posted an annual loss of nearly A$860m (£499m) after hefty writedowns.

Focus turns to 'wingsuiting' after death of Olympic stuntman Mark Sutton

Wingsuits allow the wearer to both fall downwards and move across the sky at speeds up to 226mph

Pilots gather for freedom to fly in China's forbidden skies

Restrictions ban private aircraft owners from almost all of China’s airspace. But Nuomin He, one of the country’s estimated 2,000 private aircraft owners, is one of the few who grouped together for the Air Nadaam festival in Hexigten, Inner Mongolia – the first event of its kind – seeking leniency for aviation enthusiasts.

Skater protests force review of Southbank development plans

The Southbank Centre has been forced to review plans for a £120m redevelopment of its site, following a campaign orchestrated by London’s skateboarders to save their “spiritual home”.

The Long Live South Bank campaign has garnered 58,000 signatures for a petition calling for the skate park to be saved

National Theatre and English Heritage unite to oppose redevelopment of London's Southbank Centre

The skateboarding community, National Theatre, and English Heritage groups have come together to put a spanner in the works of a planned redevelopment of the area

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen