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Family values take gold at Winter Olympics

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Frosty winter temperatures have done little to cool warm family feelings sweeping over the Alps this week. Sports fans gathered in the mountains outside Turin had expected to witness some impressive athletic performances, but they were also treated to a virtuoso display of parenting skills as some of Europe's most high-profile mums and dads took their little ones along to the Winter Olympics.

On the eve of Valentine's Day it was plain to see love was in the air as Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima took their seats at the women's speedskating event. The Dutch royals, who were on hand to see 19-year-old Ireen Wust take gold in the 3,000 metre race, had their hands full with daughters Catherina and Alexia. That didn't stop the pair applauding enthusiastically when their compatriot outpaced her German and Canadian challengers to take victory, though.

Britain's Cherie Blair was meanwhile enjoying some quality time with her five-year-old son Leo. The prime minister's wife, who is in Italy as a representative of the London 2012 games, was photographed embracing her little boy as they watched the men's 500 metre final.

And the youngster, who was sporting a Brooklyn Beckham-style crew cut, seemed much more interested in his mum than events unfolding on the ice below. At one point he jumped into her lap and beamed with pleasure as he wrapped both arms around her neck for an affectionate hug.

Photo: ©
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander carries Catherina on his shoulders, while little Alexia gets a lift from mum MaximaPhoto: © Rexy
Photo: ©
Leo snuggles up to his mum inside the Oval Lingotto venuePhoto: © Reuters

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