Sport New York Rangers player Wayne Gretzky in his final career game

Wayne Gretzky, ice hockey’s greatest player,  was born in 1961 in Ontario, Canada, where the sport is more a religion than a hobby. He first skated at the age of two on a rink that his dad Walter had made in the garden of their family home. At six, Gretzky was playing in an under-10s team. His jersey was too big for him, so he started to tuck in the right side of it, a superstition that stuck with him throughout his career.

Convention Diary: Feel the love - Mia goes down a treat

Ann Romney talked about love – but the Love that was the real smash on Tuesday night was Mia Love, the exotic Republican candidate for Utah's fourth Congressional district.

Hot ticket: Sunday's spectacular closing ceremony

What would you have done if you'd found a Closing Ceremony ticket...?

Bogus letters were left around London to test city's new-found public spirit. Charlie Cooper has the results

The Community Shield kicked off the English club season on Sunday – and Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic was sent off

Can Olympic sports retain their appeal in the face of football?

As the Premier League returns to dominate the sporting landscape, Ian Herbert assesses whether the other Olympic sports can retain their appeal

Australia's Kieran Govers celebrates

The Calvin Report: Kookaburras plunge the knife in

Britain's men fail to emulate the women by taking a bronze medal as they are defeated 3-1 by Australia

Danny Kerry: 'I think women's hockey can be - and should be - the premier female team sport in the country'

Hockey: Team GB coach Danny Kerry believes Olympic bronze could spur on women's team

Great Britain coach Danny Kerry believes Olympic bronze should spur on the women's team to win a world-level event in the future.

Coach Jason Lee (pictured) has expressed concern that the 9-3 defeat by the Netherlands on Thursday will be hard to recover from

Hockey: Lee tells dejected players to win for future prospects

British men's hockey squad can deliver a boost to their drive to reach the same funding levels as the nation's women if they pull off a shock win over the world game's top nation, Australia, in today's bronze medal game.

Team GB's hockey captain Kate Walsh

Hockey: Team GB women hope to create legacy for future generations

Team GB's hockey captain Kate Walsh hopes that the team's success at the Games could secure a legacy for the sport and inspire their successors.

Great Britain’s women are left devastated after their defeat to Argentina

Hockey: GB 'bitterly disappointed' by defeat to Argentina

Great Britain 1 Argentina 2

Kate Walsh and other Team GB hockey players have proved an inspiration during the London 2012 Olympics

Hockey: Britain looks to up its game after Olympic success

The governing body of British hockey is making an ambitious push to capitalize on one of the surprise hits of the Olympics, with a recruitment drive under way which focuses substantially on the nation’s women.

Team GB prepare for their hockey match against the Dutch. Pictured (from left) are James Tindall, Ashley Jackson, Glenn Kirkham and Nicholas Catlin from a preliminary round

Hockey: Team GB promise 'good, open game' against Dutch

Great Britain’s men will not underestimate the task they face in taking on the Netherlands tomorrow night in their first Olympic semi-final since winning gold in 1988.

silver medallist Nick Dempsey plans to keep going even though windsurfing will no longer be an Olympic sport

Windsurfing: Q&A with Team GB's silver medallist Nick Dempsey

Although windsurfing will not be in the next Olympics, silver medallist Nick Dempsey plans to keep going.

31 July: Anne Panter (back) of GB in action against Hye Lyoung Han of Korea

Hockey: GB women seek return to form in semi-final against Argentina tonight

GB stalwart Anne Panter says the players are determined to find a return to their best form for a last-four clash tonight as they bid to become the first GB women's side to reach an Olympic final.

Friday 3, August: James Tindall of Great Britain celebrates with team mates after his goal during the Men's Hockey match between Great Britain and Pakistan

Hockey: Great Britain coach dares to dream after win over Pakistan

Great Britain coach Jason Lee could last night begin to contemplate “shooting for the stars” – meaning qualification for the men’s hockey semi finals – declaring after a comfortable 4-1 win over Pakistan that progress was in his own side’s gift, despite the brooding presence of world champions Australia, on Sunday.

Britain's pivot Robin Garnham shoots during the men's preliminary Group A handball match Great Britain vs Argentina

Welcome to the wacky world of handball

Jerome Taylor spends a day at the Copper Box stadium watching the surprising (and slightly sticky) hit sport that's got British fans hooked

Hockey: Kate Walsh jaw injury will not distract Team GB

Great Britain women's goalkeeper Beth Storry insists they have not been distracted by the injury to captain Kate Walsh.

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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us