The Sochi Olympic Games are taking place in a region of tightly interwoven conflicts, the roots of which lie as much in contemporary military, political and social upheaval and the post-soviet geo-politics as in historical events and their various interpretations among different Russian and Caucasian populations...
Throughout our creative process (which was also supported by Philips, Samsung and Snow Queen Vodka), we've always made the conscious decision to partner with rebels and pioneers; for example every model cast was (and will always be) chosen on account of their personality, creative attributes and character - as opposed to solely their appearance.
Last week I came to London to announce that a long held dream of mine is coming true. In partnership with Vodafone, I'm going to share self-defence techniques and tips with women throughout India. We'll teach women mental and physical skills that will improve their self-confidence and help them defend themselves.
What's most heartening about the public response is that the UK seems to agree. That's good for Tom. It's good for us. And it's good for the world - especially when discussion of the Olympics and LGBT identity is currently dominated by Russian lawmakers' repeated insistence ahead of next year's Winter Olympics at Sochi that the mere acknowledgement of being gay is an act of political propaganda. I'm not, by and large, a patriotic sort. But the huge outpouring of support that has greeted Daley's simple statement has made me proud to be British today. That's partly because it shows how firmly recognition of and respect for LGBT people's basic humanity and dignity has taken root in mainstream society.
Olympics and hyperbole are old bedfellows, yet it's fair to say that this did seem like an exceptional - perhaps historic - moment for Japan, as though this vote could just mark the end of Japan's two 'lost decades', twenty years of economic flatlining in a country growing ever less confident and more insular.
As an ex-teacher and parent, I have been saddened to hear that a large number of young people today have no ambition or lack self-confidence, as reported by their own parents and school teachers. As an Olympic gold medalist, I know that a way to gain ambition and confidence is to set yourself challenging goals.