Winter Olympics 2014: British snowboarder Billy Morgan set to become the first person to compete at Sochi on Thursday

Morgan will take to the slopestyle event in the opening qualifying heat at the first person to compete at this year's Games

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The Independent Online

British snowboarder Billy Morgan will be the first person to compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The Games finally get under way later today and medal prospect Morgan is the first rider in the opening qualifying heat of the slopestyle event at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

Compatriot Jamie Nicholls is in the same heat and is due to come out 14th, while Ireland's Seamus O'Connor is in the second qualifying group.

The trio were yesterday given a boost after revered US snowboarder Shaun White pulled out of the event in order to focus on the halfpipe discipline, an event where he is the reigning two-time Olympic gold medallist.

In the women's event, which will start after the men's at around 1000GMT, Jenny Jones and Aimee Fuller are in the same qualifying heat.

Jones, like Morgan, will kick off the women's competition while Fuller is seventh on the grid.