Slopestyle's Olympic debut met with empty seatsSpectators watch the women's snowboard slopestyle qualifying at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) -- The snowboarders competing in slopestyle's Olympic debut wanted to put on a show.
It wasn't exactly standing room only.
There were large pockets of empty seats during portions of men's and women's qualifying on Thursday, particularly near the beginning and end of the seven-hour session.
Don't blame the weather. Conditions were perfect with sunny skies, warm temperatures and not even the hint of a breeze.
Don't blame the course either. After days of tweaks, the course considered too dangerous by some early in the week was tame enough for eight riders to post scores in the 90s.
The crowd appeared to be largely Russian. The biggest cheers were reserved for Russian Alexey Sobolev even though he finished 10th out of 15 riders during his qualifying heat.