Alan HubbardNo-one died, no bombs went off, no gays were persecuted and Sochi's spectacular Winter Olympics were the epitome of all that is good in sport. Huge sighs of relief all round.

Despite all the forebodings Russia pulled it off in style – as they will the 2018 football World Cup.

For when it comes to staging super shows, Russia doesn't mess about.

Even from the comfort of the armchair we at home could see the new face of Russia – wreathed in smiles. Vladimir Putin even cracked one, usually when one of their medal winners was on the rostrum.

However only time, and possibly the unfolding political drama in Ukraine, will tell if it was all just for show - their Winter Games show.

There was plenty for Russian President Vladimir Putin right to smile about at Sochi 2014 ©Getty ImagesThere was plenty for Russian President Vladimir Putin right to smile about at Sochi 2014 ©Getty Images

Unquestionably though, the costliest and "coolest" Winter Olympics in history were brilliantly orchestrated and executed, with opening and closing ceremonies that were classy, tasteful and thoroughly entrancing, as you might expect from the home of Tchaikovsky, Tolstoy and the Bolshoi. In between the sport went off without a visible hitch. And joyously for Britain the expedition proved to be the most rewarding in 90 years. Well done all round.

Not unexpectedly, and rather understandably, UK Sport were first to trumpet all the British successes, ahead even of the British Olympic Association, proclaiming after every medal - gold, silver and two bronze - how the Lottery funding and their self-admitted "no compromise" policy had laid the foundations for GB's triumphs.

No argument with that. Their target of at least three medals had been achieved, plus one for luck. Sighs of relief and trebles all round.

Chief executive Liz Nichol declared: "Our decision to invest on a 'no compromise' basis for winter sports, in the same way as we do for summer sports this past four years has really paid dividends.

"What this shows is getting the right investment to the right athletes for the right reasons is key to delivering medal winning success – and we will approach our investment towards Pyeongchang 2018 with this philosophy at the forefront of our minds. British winter sport has an exciting future ahead of it.

"UK Sport is committed to supporting every athlete who can demonstrate the realistic potential to win a medal in either 2018 or 2022 and following so many outstanding performances in Sochi I anticipate that there will be an increase in our investment in to winter sports."

Lizzy Yarnold's skeleton gold was the highlight of Britain's record-equalling Winter Olympics ©Getty ImagesLizzy Yarnold's skeleton gold was the highlight of Britain's record-equalling Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

So there will be a few quid more for winter sports on the road to Pyeongchang. No argument with that either. But what one might argue with this is whether those disciplines in which GB ended up among the also-skiied, like cross country and the biathlon (plus presumably ice hockey which didn't even qualify), should continue to benefit from this largesse while a more popular Summer Games sport like basketball has been given the financial heave-ho under the draconian winning-is-everything policy at UK Sport.

Recently my insidethegames colleague David Owen suggested it was now time for UK Sport "to rein in the medal lust". I heartily agree.

British Basketball, whose funding has been cut to zilch because of this medal-fixation, has been treated at best regrettably and at worst shamefully.

Britain's basketball teams have put in impressive performances considering they have only been properly funded since 2009 ©AFP/Getty ImagesBritain's basketball teams have put in impressive performances considering they have only been properly funded since 2009 ©AFP/Getty Images

Basketball, in which 70 per cent of participants are under 25 and half come from black and minority communities, is hardly an elitist sport. Unlike fencing, which astonishingly has had its funding increased by almost 30 per cent to just short of £4 million despite never having got a sniff of an Olympic medal since 1964.

And how about sailing, the biggest recipients of all. Does it really need an extra bung of £25.5 million?

Isn't the Royal Yachting Association wealthy enough to ensure the sailors a few extra home comforts?

By coincidence the new chairman of UK Sport is Rod Carr, a former chief executive of the RYA. Of course, we totally accept assurances that he played no part in the funding process.

As the aggrieved slam-dunkers point out, UK Sport say it is all about winning medals. "That seems crazy" they say. Agreed.

Whatever happened to Sport for All?

Such rigidity is surely sacrificing long-term legacy for a short-term feel-good factor.

Do Britain's sailors need even more money from UK Sport? ©Getty ImagesDo Britain's sailors need even more money from UK Sport? ©Getty Images

We know UK Sport policy is endorsed by the Government so it was a point I put to the shadow sports minister, Clive Efford, asking whether he thought it would be fairer rather than to award substantial increases to those successful, yet less needy sports, to instead distribute this amount among the others so they are not totally financially emasculated?

His response was disappointingly anodyne. "UK Sport has an outstanding record in supporting athletes and sports that bring success at the highest level. Whilst I am determined to play my part in generating greater participation in sport at the grass roots, I do not think it is for politicians to try to pick and choose which sports are going to be successful and which are not at the elite end of competition." No boat-rocking there.

Odd that. One would have thought that such fairer distribution of wealth was right up Labour's street. I certainly cannot imagine Kate Hoey, an outstanding former Labour sports minister, being quite as equivocal as that.

In cannot see why even half the extra £25 million to sailing, the £7 million to modern pentathlon and £4 million to fencing, could not be shared among those sports that have been deprived of any so that it could be used to help them aspire towards success craved by UK Sport.

There is a feasible argument that some sports may now be over-funded.

Sailing, fencing, equestrianism. Largely elitist pursuits you won't find being avidly practised in inner-city compounds like Hackney and Brixton where basketball proliferates.

UK sport has done admirable work in boosting British sport in terms of technology, talent identification, sports science and coaching support. But this hard-line policy over cash distribution is quite unfair. Even unsporting, you might say.

In a perceptive piece in London's Sunday Times David Walsh, the journalist whose dogged perseverance finally put a spoke in Lance Armstrong's dodgy wheels, should make uncomfortable reading at UK Sport's Bloomsbury HQ.

With some justification Walsh wonders whether the lust for gold is now damaging rather than enhancing sport in Britain. He cites a reader who says GB are the new GDR, misusing taxpayers' money as the East Germans once misused drugs.

There is something of a lust for medals at UK Sport ©Getty ImagesThere is something of a lust for medals at UK Sport ©Getty Images

East Germany doped their way to the podium. Are we now simply buying glory?

I know I am not alone in failing to see why basketball should have to forgo the £8.5 million it received after a respectable and well-supported showing at 2012, even though it didn't medal.

Since 2009, when basketball was first properly funded, its male and female teams have reached five European championship finals after only two appearances in the previous 50 years.

Both teams are now in the world's top 25. Can this be said of some funded sports, winter and summer?

But good luck to them. As UK Sport apparently can't spare any cash, we just hope those they are enriching can spare at least a thought for basketball, a sport left shivering in the cold.

Alan Hubbard is an award-winning sports columnist for The Independent on Sunday and a former sports editor of The Observer. He has covered a total of 16 Summer and Winter Games, 10 Commonwealth Games, several football World Cups and world title fights from Atlanta to Zaire.