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With the skiing season drawing to a close in the coming weeks, many fans of the piste may be looking into locations where they can enjoy a late break where snow is still present.However, because of lots of timely snowfalls over the winter, an article in the Daily Mail highlights that many destinations across Europe can be taken advantage of before the warmer weather of spring causes the final thaw.France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, alongside other countries further afield outside of Europe, are all still providing excellent skiing opportunities.Val D'Isere and Tignes are rated as the top destinations in France, "where perfect groomed runs are complemented by 'go anywhere' spring snow conditions off-piste".Furthermore, it is suggested that snow on the lower slopes is set to become heavier over the course of the coming days to make an experience even more pleasing.Visitors to Val D'Isere can also expect to take advantage of fine facilities off the slopes, with the central town being cosmopolitan with a host of bars, restaurants and clubs.Young adults may opt to take in one of the hectic nightclubs after a taxing day on the slopes, while others may prefer chilling in a sports bar or listening to live music to relax.Meanwhile, Tignes may suit the more advance skiers, with countless black runs and off-piste challenges sure to keep minds ticking over.However, beginners have the choice between several free lifts and long sweeping runs to help develop their skills.In addition, guests can benefit from a modern sports centre in Tignes, which features a sauna, the chance to play squash and aerobics classes, while a bowling alley and cinema are only a short walk away.Val Gardena is suggested to be smart choice for those considering heading to Italy, with snow at a premium across much of the country and slush filling many of the pistes."In Val Gardena, blue skies and wonderful pistes have combined to provide exceptional ski conditions," the publication notes.Meanwhile, reasonable conditions are said to exist in Andorra despite the recent absence of any snow, while skiers are encouraged to stick to the groomed areas in Switzerland to benefit from the best of what is on offer.Written by Chris Smith
Carlo Janka and Lindsey Vonn claimed overall World Cup titles after skiing to victory in events at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.Janka followed up on his gold medal in the giant slalom at the 2010 Winter Olympics on the Whistler course with another scintillating run in the same event in Germany.He had already set the fastest time in the morning run before the 23-year-old Swiss star continued where he left off to win the event with an overall time of 2:20.87 ahead of Italy's Davide Simoncelli.Janka now holds an unassailable lead in the men's standings with just the slalom event in Germany remaining and becomes the first Swiss male to take the overall title since Paul Accola achieved the feat in 1992.According to the AFP, he said: "I knew that I had to win here and I was really pleased with the second run. Everything has come together for me this season and I have won everything that there is to win."It also all came together today for me - the weather, the snow, everything was perfect. I took the feeling all the way down to the finish line in the exact way I wanted to."Janka now sits on 1,197 points for the season and with only 100 points up for grabs in the slalom, second-placed Benjamin Raich is unable to catch him after finishing eighth in the giant slalom.Meanwhile, Vonn was already assured of a third successive overall World Cup title before leaving the start gate of the female super G event after Maria Riesch had failed to finish in the first two.However, the Olympic downhill gold medallist did not disappoint her fans as she cruised to victory to become the US skier with the most World Cup race victories in history - surpassing Bode Miller's record of 32.Vonn posted the fastest time down the Kadahar course of 1:19.30, with Austria's Elisabeth Goergl taking second in the race and Nadia Styger of Switzerland claiming third.She also posted a US record of 11 wins in a single World Cup season and becomes the first women to take overall victory three years in a row since Petra Kronberger between 1990 and 1992.Vonn said: "An overall title is one of the biggest things you can win in our sport. I gave it all I had. I have nothing more left in me."She will now take the slalom off to rest her knee that she injured in a crash in the giant slalom in Germany.Written by Chris Smith
The closing ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games was held last night (February 28th), bringing to an end two weeks of sporting action that had left many people glued to their TV screens.More than 5,000 athletes from 82 countries packed the 60,000 capacity BC Place stadium for the spectacular show, which featured musical performances from Michael Buble, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morrisette.Fresh from their heroic ice hockey victory over the US just hours earlier, Canadian fans packed the venue for the closing celebrations of the event which is likely to leave a tourism legacy for Vancouver.Despite a few issues with snow at the beginning of the game, the ski resort of Whistler, which was an official venue for the games, staged an entertaining show and it is also likely to benefit from the event.It is at this venue that phenomenal skier Bode Miller collected his first Olympic gold medal in the super combined, helping the US team pick up nine gold medals.The nine pushed the US to the top of the leader board with a total of 37 medals, followed by Germany with 30, although it had three more golden gongs than the former.Host nation Canada had its strongest winter Olympics ever, utilising home advantage to secure 14 gold medals, more than any other country, seven silvers and five bronzes, bringing its total to 26.Norway, Austria, the Russian Federation and Korea walked away from the Games with 23, 16, 15 and 14 medals respectively, while China, Sweden and France, won a total of 11 medals each.Thanks to the gold medal won by Olympic skeleton champion Amy Williams, Great Britain and Northern Ireland managed to land its only medal from the North American games, whose end now turns the attention to the next host city Sochi, Russia, in 2014.Written by Chris Smith.
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