The competition got a jump on the pageantry in Sochi.
Though the opening ceremonies for the games commence at 8 a.m. Pacific time on Friday, the actual events started at 10 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday. So, not the lighting of the Olympic cauldron but the new slopestyle snowboarding event, which Shaun White withdrew from because of safety concerns involving the course, launched the games. Canadian Max Parrot achieved the top score in the qualifying round.
The head start on the “opening” ceremonies stems from the games adding twelve events. In addition to slopestyle and seven other X-Games style competitions, medals will now be awarded for women’s ski jump, team ice skating, luge team relay, and a mixed biathlon relay.