With the pomp and circumstance of the Feb. 7 opening ceremonies in the rearview mirror, Feb. 8, which marks day one of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is scheduled to feature five different medal round events and even more qualifying action, according to a Feb. 7 report posted to Olympic.org, the Olympic movement's official website.
The first 2014 Olympic champion will be crowned in the men's snowboard slopestyle event, which will air live via NBCOlympics.com livestream beginning at 12:45 AM Pacific time on Feb. 8. Although Canadian Max Parrot is favored to take gold, he'll face stiff competition from countryman Mark McMorris and a host of other talented riders.
In cross country skiing, the ladies' skiathlon 7.5 km classic and 7.5 km free will crown its champion, with competition set to begin at 2 AM Pacific time. Although Americans do not generally medal in cross country events, a quartet of ladies representing the U.S. will take part, including Elizabeth Stephen, Jessica Diggins, Sadie Bjornsen, and Holly Brooks.
The third gold medal of the day will be awarded to the winner of the men's 5,000 meter speed skating event. Set to begin at 3:30 AM Pacific time, the field includes event favorite Sven Kramer of the Netherlands, as well as a trio of Americans in Jonathan Kuck, Patrick Meek and Emery Lehman.
The first biathlon medal will be handed out next, as men competing in the 10 km sprint will go for glory beginning at 6:30 AM PT, with Russell Currier, Leif Nordgren, Tim Burke, and Lowell Bailey skiing for the U.S. Eleven-time Olympic medalist Ole Einar Bjorndalen of Norway will make his 2014 Games debut as he attempts to add to his already jaw-dropping medal haul.
Finally, the first freesking medal will be awarded to the winner of the women's moguls final, which is scheduled to begin at 10 AM Pacific time. The field includes top qualifier and defending champion Hannah Kearney and Eliza Outtrim of the U.S., who both qualified via preliminaries. The U.S. may have one other participant, if Heather McPhie is able to earn a berth during the second set of qualifiers, which are set for 6 AM Pacific.
Non-medal round action will include figure skating team competition, two women's hockey games including team USA's Games debut against Switzerland, men's luge, and men's ski jumping.
The 2014 Winter Olympics will continue Feb. 8.