Our names are Bobby and Jarod Minghini, and we are professional snowboarders trying to make it to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. We have spent the last ten plus years training for this moment, and sacrificing everything else for the chance to be on the U.S. Olympic Team in 2014. This is our story.
We were born and raised in West Virginia, and grew up shredding Snowshoe Mountain Resort for the entire early parts of our lives. Snowboarding has always been a huge part of our lives, and we literally lived on the mountain and rode every single day! Snowboarding and the chairlifts became our main babysitter growing up. We loved to ride and progressed quickly. We started competing locally, and soon started qualifying and competing at larger competitions like USASA Nationals. We continued to ride and compete no matter what we had to do, and we always found a way to stay on the mountain and podium. If we weren't at school, we were either riding at Snowshoe (even night riding every evening after school) or somewhere at a competition.
As we continued to progress in snowboarding we both had a major appeal to snowboardcross (SBX), and both tended to excel at it. That is where our primary focus in competing began to grow, and where we spent most of our time training and competing. We continued having success at USASA events and Nationals, and started doing bigger USSA and other national level events. We were even able to qualify and represent the U.S. at the FIS Junior World Championships, which is still one of our proudest accomplishments from our early days.
Once Bobby finished high school he moved out west to Lake Tahoe, California to further pursue his snowboard career, and search for better mountains and training opportunities. I wasn't far behind. Tahoe caught us both immediately with it's amazing snow, mountains, and insane beauty. We knew this was the place to lay down some roots. It has been home since, and holds a special place in our hearts. West Virginia was and always will be home, but Tahoe is our snowboarding home.
Since moving to Tahoe in 2005, we both qualified for multiple Junior World Championships, we got first and second overall in North American Cup standings, got podiums and wins at Nor Ams, Europa Cups, and National Championships, earned spots for World Cups, competed in multiple Winter X Games, and started competing on the World Cup Tour all around the world. We continued to rise each year, and are now amongst the top U.S. riders on both the national and international levels.
This year we have both qualified for the World Cup season, and specifically for the first four World Cups, which serve as the Olympic Qualifiers for the U.S. Team. The top riders from those first four World Cups will be the U.S. men going to the Olympics. There are 12 to 13 men getting World Cup starts for the U.S., with 4 being selected for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Team.
This summer we both worked rigorously to get into the best shape of our lives, and ready for the most important season of our lives. We have made many sacrifices to get to this point, and are now more hungry for success than ever. Both of us work jobs 40 hours a week during the summer to help pay for our winter. We also work out and training for snowboarding 5 to 7 days a week. Our training consists of hiking, biking, running, swimming, and any other outdoor activities you can imagine. Training doesn't stop there as we hit the gym for weight training, plyometrics, sprints, yoga, and other mind and body exercises to improve our performance. It is 24/7, but is worth it to be able to pursue our dreams and accomplish the goals we have set for ourselves. Our next goal is to both qualify and represent the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and we both have the drive, passion, and are willing to make the sacrifices to make our dream come true.
On top of all of the physical and mental demands of our Olympic quest, it is the financial demand that is one of our biggest hurdles. Unlike other top U.S. athletes, we are not supported by the U.S. for the World Cups. We have to pay for them and all of the other expenses ourselves. We both have a couple of sponsors, work through the summer, and have an amazing Mother who works and helps us as much as humanly possible, but the expenses continue to add up and it becomes difficult to make all of the ends meet. Some of the main expenses incurred during a season are: snowboards, clothing, wax, tuning equipment, coaching, team fees, training camps, gym fees, season passes, lift tickets, lodging, airfare and several other expenses needed throughout the year to make us successful.
Every year we have to make sacrifices by going without something we need just to be able to afford something else. This year we are putting everything we have into qualifying for the Olympics, and don't want to make sacrifices on things we need because of the financial burden. We are trying to raise $40,000 ($20,000 each) to help cover some the expenses for this upcoming season to pursue our Olympic dreams! $20,000 each would cover just a little more than half of each of our estimated yearly budgets. It would help us tremendously and be appreciated more than we could ever express!
We are extremely grateful and thankful for any size donation you are willing to make! No donation can be too small! If we could meet our goal and raise $40,000 we would be giving ourselves the absolute best chance to qualify for the 2014 Sochi Olympics and represent the United States. Please help support our dream of representing the U.S.A. in snowboardcross at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Please also help our cause by sharing this, and getting more and more people to see it. The more people the better. Please share with friends, family, businesses, and any other contacts and connections that you think may be able to help
Thanks so much for your help, donations, and believing in the American Dream, that anyone can achieve whatever they want, as long as they are willing to work for it! We are putting everything we have into our goal of competing in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and won't be satisfied until we're there!