CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia will be represented this week as the 2014 Sochi Olympic Qualifiers for Boardercross (BX) gets underway in Austria.
Bobby and Jarod Minghini, formerly of Snowshoe Mountain in Pocahontas County, will be two of the 12 American hopefuls for the 4-man U.S. BX team. They are the only siblings competing for a spot.
BX is a discipline of snowboarding in which four boarders start simultaneously atop an inclined course and ride over a series of features trying to reach the finish line first. Those features include a variety of cambered turns, gap jumps, drops, as well as steep and flat sections designed to challenge the riders' abilities.
BX became an Olympic sport in 2006 and has been a sport at the Winter X Games since 1997. BX has also been referred to as Snowboarder X, SBX and Snowboard Cross.
The brothers were born and raised in West Virginia. They lived near Snowshoe Mountain Resort, adjacent from the slopes. Bobby, 27, began snowboarding as a 5-year-old. Jarod, 25, picked up the sport shortly after Bobby. Both currently live in Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Bobby was a 2004 graduate of Pocahontas County High School. He moved to Lake Tahoe upon graduation. Jarod stayed around and completed his junior year.
"I visited my brother in Lake Tahoe in 2005," Jarod said. "I knew I needed to be there with him so I made the move after my junior year. I finished school at South Tahoe High and graduated from there in 2006."
Bobby said he moved to Lake Tahoe because of the high concentration of snowboarding professionals there.
"I knew that if I were to succeed in snowboarding, I needed to be somewhere with better mountains and training opportunities," Bobby said. "Lake Tahoe has amazing snow and insane beauty. It's also a place many professionals congregate so it was just the ideal place."
Since moving to Lake Tahoe, the two have qualified for multiple Junior World Championships, received first and second overall in North American Cup standings, received wins at Nor Ams and the Europa Cups, earned spots for World Cups, competed in multiple Winter X Games and began competing on the World Cup Tour. The brothers have received an invitation to compete in the 2014 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo.
Bobby and Jarod spoke to the Daily Mail last week from Finland. They are in Finland preparing for the first of four Olympic qualifiers. They are set to compete Dec. 7 at the first qualifying event in Montafon, Austria.