Early start Thursday for Sochi Olympics Events

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2014 Winter Olympics: What to Watch for

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Competition at the Sochi Olympics has begun, 32 hours before the opening ceremony.

Early starts are needed because of 12 men's and women's medal events added since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Men's snowboard slopestyle qualifying runs - without American star Shaun White, who withdrew Wednesday - got underway Thursday 10 a.m. (0600 GMT) at X-Treme Park in the mountains above Sochi.

Women's qualifying runs were following in the afternoon, and women's moguls qualifying was scheduled to start freestyle skiing events at 6 p.m. (1400 GMT).

Men's slopestyle and women's moguls are among the first medals to be awarded Saturday.

Down in Sochi, the new team figure skating competition begins 7.30 p.m. (1530 GMT) at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

The men's short program is to be followed by the pairs.

Early start Thursday for Sochi Olympics Events
Security guard stands in front of a banner with the Olympic Rings at the Olympic Park in the Adler district of Sochi on February 2, 2014. Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games from February 7 to February 23. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alexander Demianchuk (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER DEMIANCHUK/AFP/Getty Images)
A Russian security forces K-9 officer patrols with his dog near the finish area of the Alpine ski course ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
Russian security personnel patrol Olympic park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Russian security personnel patrol Olympic park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
A military helicopter hovers over the mountain cluster as a passenger jet passes by prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. With militant groups threatening to attack during the next few weeks, security and the safety of competitors and visitors to the coastal area and in the nearby mountains that will host the events has become both heightened and inescapable. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Unidentified cross country skiers pass by a security camera as a security guard watches them as they train prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 02: A CCTV camera monitors activity inside the Olympic Park ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 2, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
A Russian police officer searches a driver as his vehicle is also screened at an entrance to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games park, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The Olympics begin on Feb. 7. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Volunteers wait to enter through a security check point at the Coastal Village where athletes will reside during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Govolkin, Pool)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 04: Volunteers walk through security ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Olympic Park on February 4, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Russian security personnel wait for deployment in the Olympic Park as security measures continue to be implemented for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
A Russian security personnel walks between the fences set up at the Gorki Media Center prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Police and security personnel stand at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, where the snow and sliding sports venues for the 2014 Winter Olympics are located. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
Russian security personal stand in the medal plaza near the Oylmpic flame as security measures are stepped in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Security personnel walk with their dogs outside Fisht Olympic Stadium at the 2014 Winter Olympics Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The Olympics begin Feb. 7th. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 04: Security services ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Olympic Park on February 4, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
A Russian security officer guards the Alpine Center in the Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort near Sochi onsFebruary 4, 2014. The opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympic Winter will take place on February 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Plain-clothes policemen patrol the Rosa Khutor Alpine center in the mountain cluster on February 2, 2014 prior to the start of 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian security members patrol by the olympic cauldron and medals plaza in the seaside cluster prior to the start of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 2, 2014 in Sochi. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian police inspect a tunnel on the road between and Krasnaya as increased security measures are put into place ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. Outdor snow sports and sliding track events will take place in Krasnaya Polyana. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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