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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor