Sochi 2014: Winter Olympics sports this week (27 Jan-2 Feb)

Lizzy Yarnold celebrates with the World Cup winner's globe

MAJOR EVENTS THIS WEEK

ALPINE SKIING: World Cup men's: Schladming, Austria: slalom (28 Jan), St Moritz, Switzerland: downhill (1 Feb) & giant slalom (2 Feb); World Cup women's: Kransja Gora, Slovenia: giant slalom (1 Feb) & slalom (2 Feb): The last World Cup events before the Winter Olympics.

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: World Cup, Tobblach/Dobbachio, Italy (1-2 Feb): The final cross country action before Sochi. Individual sprint gold medal favourite, America's Kikkan Randall, will get a chance to fine-tune her Olympic preparations. Meanwhile, expected Sochi medal favourites Petter Northug (Norway) and Dario Cologna (Switzerland) can prove their fitness after injury and illness-disrupted seasons.

SKI JUMPING: World Cup, Willingen, Germany (1-2 Feb): In-form Slovenian overall standings leader Peter Prevc will be looking for more success ahead of Sochi.

LAST WEEK'S NEWS

The Great Britain squad for Sochi is unveiled and Lizzy Yarnold wraps up the World Cup title.

TEAM GB

Great Britain will take 56 athletes to the 2014 Winter Olympics, their largest squad since the 1998 Games in Calgary.

Meanwhile, the USA are set to send 230 athletes, which would make it the largest contingent by any nation ever at a Winter Olympics.

SKELETON

Britain's Lizzy Yarnold came ninth in the last race in Germany, which was won by American Noelle Pikus-Pace, but it was enough for her to win the overall World Cup.

Yarnold's team-mate Shelley Rudman took bronze to finish third overall.

ALPINE SKIING

It was a busy weekend in alpine skiing with a host of rearranged races previously postponed due to adverse weather.

Overall World Cup champion Tina Maze landed her first win of the 2013-14 campaign in a downhill in Cortina. The Slovenian had a record-breaking season in 2012-13 but has struggled so far this winter.

Bode Miller in action in Kitzbuehel
Miller will appear in his fifth Winter Olympics next month

There were also wins for Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Switzerland's Lara Gut, both of whom are expected to be medal contenders in Sochi.

Chemmy Alcott justified the British selectors' faith in her by coming 23rd in a super-G in Cortina, Italy.

Veteran American Bode Miller showed signs of a return to form with two podium finishes in Kitzbuehel.

Felix Neureuther of Germany and Alexis Pinturault of France underlined their credentials as Olympic medal contenders with victories, while Olympic downhill champion Didier Defago of Switzerland enjoyed a rare victory.

Hannes Reichelt of Austria won the downhill at Kitzbuehel to delight a crowd of 50,000 on the famous Hahnenkamm.

Britain's Dave Ryding failed to qualify for the second run of the slalom in Kitzbuehel.

BOBSLEIGH

Great Britain's four-man crew, led by pilot John Jackson, finished a confidence-boosting fourth in the season's final World Cup at Konigsee, Germany.

Steven Holcomb and the USA crew
Holcomb was back to winning ways in the four-man bob

The event doubled up as the European Championships, and with two North American crews ahead of them, Jackson's team were able to celebrate winning silver, the first European medal won by Britain's men since 1994.

The USA's Steven Holcomb underlined his status as one of the potential stars of the Sochi Games by winning in Koenigssee, claiming his first four-man victory outside North America since 2009.

Despite that result, the 33-year-old finished runner-up to Germany's Maximilian Arndt in the World Cup standings.

Holcomb did, however, win the overall two-man World Cup crown. He and brakeman Curtis Tomasevicz were seventh fastest in Konigsee, in a competition won by Canada's Justin Kripps.

Reigning Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries of Canada successfully defended her World Cup crown by the skin of her teeth. She finished third in Koenigssee, enough to leave her one point clear of the USA's Elana Meyers in the overall standings.

Meanwhile, USA Bobsled has rejected claims that former hurdler Lolo Jones earned Olympic selection because of her high profile.

FREESTYLE SKIING

James Woods failed to make the slopestyle final at the Winter X Games, not ideal preparation for a skier widely tipped as a British medal hope in Sochi. Arch rival Nick Goepper won gold and will start as favourite when slopestyle makes its Olympic debut next month.

Five months after suffering the third torn anterior cruciate ligament of her career, Canada's Kaya Turski won X Games slopestyle gold in Aspen. Fifteen-year-old Maggie Voisin - poised to be America's youngest Winter Olympian since 1972 - took silver.

SNOWBOARD

Shaun White will attempt to win a third consecutive Olympic halfpipe gold in Sochi next month, but the American opted to swerve the X Games. Billy Morgan continued his recovery from injury in Aspen, but the former acrobat failed to make the slopestyle final.

Mark McMorris says injury won't prevent him from being in Sochi

Aimee Fuller landed a double back flip in the female slopestyle competition to finish seventh, but British snowboard cross rider Zoe Gillings was forced to withdraw as a precaution following a heavy fall in training.

Canada's Mark McMorris also took an untimely tumble, breaking a rib, but the Canadian - widely tipped to upstage White in the slopestyle competition - is adamant he will be in Sochi.

Lindsey Jacobellis - the American rider who threw away a guaranteed Olympic gold while showboating in 2006 - became the most-decorated X Games female ever with her eighth snowboard cross title.

SKI JUMPING

Sara Takanashi suffered a blow in her preparations for Sochi, suffering back-to-back defeats to Austria's Daniela Iraschko-Stolz.

The 17-year-old Japanese star had won eight of the season's first nine World Cup competitions, but finished second in both contests in Planica, Slovenia.

NORDIC COMBINED

It was deja vu - again - in Oberstdorf, Germany as Eric Frenzel further underlined his Sochi favourite tag with a seventh World Cup win of the season. For good measure, Frenzel helped the Germans claim victory in the team event.

OTHER NEWS

UK officials have warned that terrorist attacks in Russia "are very likely to occur" before or during the Winter Olympics.

The mayor of Sochi claims there are no gay people in his city.

A Sochi bathroom becomes a Twitter sensation.

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