Sochi: While you were sleeping, the Olympics got underway

Plenty of Canadians qualify directly for the snowboard slopestyle final—and Mark McMorris isn’t one of them

Jeff McIntosh/CP

The Olympics have started already? Yup. Although the opening ceremonies aren’t until tomorrow, a tight schedule meant snowboarders took to the hill on Thursday to compete in an inaugural event for the Winter Olympics: Snowboard Slopestyle.

Great day for Canadian snowboarders, except Mark McMorris

Much of the talk yesterday surrounded U.S. snowboard legend Shaun White pulling out of the event at the last minute, which opened the door for more Canadians to medal. Maxence Parrot and Sebastien Toutant both nailed their first day on the slopes to qualify directly for the finals.

 

The same can’t be said for Canada’s Mark McMorris, the heavy favourite to win gold for Canada in this event at Sochi.

So the big story so far with men’s slopestyle qualifications over? Mark McMorris has a near perfect second run… http://t.co/IZ9uQU9pIY — Snowboard Canada (@SnowboardCanada) February 6, 2014

Mark McMorris after failing to qualify for slopestyle final: “I’m happy with the way I rode but the judges weren’t.”

The good news for McMorris is he’s not out of medal contention just yet, but will have to go through the semi-final run first.

Spencer O’Brien through to the final

On the women’s front, Spencer O’Brien finished third in qualifying to advance to the finals.

Heat 1 done: the top four (Isabel Derungs, Torah Bright, Spencer O’Brien, Enni Rukajarvi) straight to the final. Everyone else to the semi.

Canadians may not be able to watch it all unfold in the early hours at home, but fellow Olympians are soaking it all in.

Maclean’s dispatches from Sochi:

Ken MacQueen: Inside Vladimir Putin’s ‘Ring of Steel’

Charlie Gillis: For Heaven’s sake, let these Games begin

 

Just how expensive is Sochi compared to past Games

Russia has reportedly invested approximately $50 billion for the Sochi Games—by far the most expensive Olympics in history—and journalists were quick to notice the, ahem, less than regal rooms (unless you like brown tap water and side-by-side toilets). But if you take away Russia’s investment in roads, rail, airport and hotel infrastructure, how does Sochi compare to London 2012 ro Montreal 1976?

We asked Amanda Shendruk to illustrate it for us. Check it out here.

 

For a full preview from our team in Sochi, check out their video here.

And be sure to follow our team on Twitter for updates on the ground in Russia:

Charlie Gillis: @ChasGillis

Ken MacQueen: @kmqyvr

Jonathon Gatehouse: @JonGatehouse

And for all our Sochi coverage, click here.




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