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.

Snow news

Felix Baumgartner; the Red Bull Air Race; Red Bull's wingsuit flyers

Sponsorship: The colour of money

As Red Bull prepares to send a man into the stratosphere, Simon Usborne examines its extreme-sports business plan

Tao Zheng of China celebrates winning the men’s 100m backstroke

Records fall, excitement soars – and Games are on

From Velodrome to Aquatics Centre, the Olympic Park comes alive again as Paralympians raise the bar and crowds raise the roofs

Colin Moynihan:The BOA chairman is stepping down after seven years
Peter Wilson celebrating his gold in the men's shooting double trap

Shooting: Peter Wilson of Team GB thanks coach for gold

Briton was working in a pub after having his funding cut – now he is Olympic champion

Paul Casey crashes out of the Open with another dreadful performance

Paul Casey is now an horrendous 53 over par for his last five events in Europe after crashing out of The Open today.

Team GB's snowboard coach Nelson Pratt found hanged

A snowboarding champion has been found hanged at his family home, police said.

Sailor Ainslie starts Olympic torch relay

Three-time Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie today kicked off the London 2012 Olympic torch relay, saying it was "one of the more nervous moments of my life".

Harry Moran with pro snowboarder Jenny Jones at Tignes

Tignes and toddlers go well in the spring

Warmer days and softer snow can make late-season skiing safer and more fun for children, as Chris Moran discovers

Hip and cool: St Moritz is the place to see and be seen

Switzerland: The original and the best

Davos is the highest city in Europe, St Moritz is all about high style – but both have epic skiing, says Leslie Woit

Music in the mountains

Patrick Thorne works his way around the best mountainous music festivals
Which one's Bez? Louis, Niall, Harry, Liam and Zayn of One Direction eye up their female fans

One Direction, National Indoor Arena, Birmingham
Janet Devlin / The Risk, Forum, Hatfield

What does the female audience do at a One Direction concert? Go nuts and buy calendars

Exercising mind and body: Figure skating championship in Moscow, 2001

A Philosophy of Sport, By Steven Connor

To note that a particular coach has a philosophy of football is a staple of sports reporting. Suggesting something grander than a mere approach and less technocratic than a theory, a philosophy of sport hints at meanings beyond the winning and losing of games. Touchline philosophy it may be, but our sporting conversation is preoccupied with question of rightness and wrongness, of beauty and ugliness - the core concerns of ethics and aesthetics. For the Ancient Greeks, the relationship between sport and philosophy was obvious. The basis of a classical education was the alphabet plus swimming. The habits and discipline of preparing the mind and body were parallel and complementary. Plato, his name derived from platon or broad-shouldered, was an accomplished wrestler. Aristotle, an avid fan of the beauty of the pentathlete, taught at the Lyceum – itself a gymnasium.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital