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Qualifying in Sochi to precede Opening Ceremony

Men's, pairs prelims to be held Feb. 6, 2014

A scene from the Opening Ceremony at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
A scene from the Opening Ceremony at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(07/26/2012) - The qualifying rounds for men's and pairs at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games will take place a day before the Opening Ceremony, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Wednesday.

This will mark the first time competition of any kind will be staged before the Opening Ceremony at a Winter Games. Qualifying for the men's and pairs short program, as well that for freestyle skiing and snowboarding, will be held Feb. 6, with the Opening Ceremony set for Feb. 7.

IOC sports director Christophe Dubi told the Associated Press that this break from tradition was done to give organizers, who are already dealing with a tightly packed schedule, "breathing room" and will allow for more athletes to attend the Opening Ceremony.

Whereas at previous Winter Games, competition has been held the day of the Opening Ceremony, there are no other events scheduled for Feb. 7 in Sochi.

The 2014 Games will span 18 days, Feb. 6-23, instead of the typical 17.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.