The Sochi Network

Sochi Summary Day -1: Slopestylers avoid major trouble

Yes, it is day minus one at the Winter Olympics as competition began in three sports before the Opening Ceremony. Here is the first of our daily review of the highlights and low moments from Sochi.

HOT TOPIC

The safety of the Slopestyle course was the hot topic coming into the day. Snowboard star Shaun White pulled out of the competition because of safety concerns after Norwegian Torstein Horgmo broke his collarbone on Monday. Concerns about the proximity of the rails at the beginning of the course were highlighted but there were few incidents in qualification. However Kjersti Buaas crashed heavily on the landing off the first kicker on the hard packed snow and ruptured a stomach muscle.

GOOD DAY

For the Dufour-Lapointe family as all three sisters: Justine, Maxime and Chloe qualify for the women's moguls final. They'll be singing (in French) in the streets of Montreal tonight.

Yuzuru Hanyu is only 19 but stole the show on the opening night of figure skating. He got 97.98 in his first Olympics with a nearly perfect short programme performance as the Japanese won the men's portion of the team event.

Brit Jamie Nicholls qualified automatically for the slopestyle final. The 20-year-old from Bradford was seventh after the first run but moved up to fourth with a score of 86.75.

BAD DAY

Three moguls skiers fell in pre-competition runs and were unable to start qualifying. They included medal hopefuls Heidi Kloser of the USA, who was stretchered from the course and Japan's Miki Ito.

No-one was eliminated from the slopestyle but 21 men will vie for the four remaining places in Saturday's final and they include favourite Mark McMorris who suffered a broken rib at the X Games. The Canadian landed the first triple cork 1440 of the Games but failed to make the top four in the second heat and social media was angered by the scoring.

X Games champion Silje Norendal also failed to make the women's final after mistakes on both runs.

BRITS IN ACTION

Billy Morgan failed to join Nicholls in the Slopestyle final after he was sixth in heat one but has another shot at qualification via Saturday's semi-finals. In the women's competition, triple X Games gold medallist Jenny Jones narrowly missed out in fifth while Belfast teenager Aimee Fuller was 10th and both will need to go through the semi-finals

Matthew Parr scored a season's best 57.40 for his short programme and placed ninth out of 10 in the men's segment of the figure skating team event in elite company but that looks like being the beginning and end of his Olympics with GB destined to miss out on the top five that will compete in the free programme. A nervy performance from pairs skaters Stacey Kemp and David King saw them score 44.70 to leave the Brits last at halfway.

GOLD MEDALS AWARDED TODAY

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

New Zealand's Rebecca Torr performs a jump during Slopestyle qualifying.

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TWEET OF THE DAY

Some artistic support for Canada's fourth female Moguls entry.

DON'T MISS TOMORROW

No competition as the opening ceremony takes place at the Fisht Olympic Stadium which has a capacity of 40,000 spectators.

BIG NAMES IN ACTION

New International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach will give his first speech. Russian leader Vladimir Putin will then declare the Games open.

YOU HAVEN'T HEARD OF THEM BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE

Viola player Yuri Bashmet, pianist Denis Matsuev and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina are scheduled to appear.

GOLD MEDALS ON OFFER

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