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

Music in the mountains

Patrick Thorne works his way around the best mountainous music festivals
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

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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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas