What a life! At the young age of 29, Wyoming’s AAron Ontiveroz just returned from covering the Olympics and prior to that, the Super Bowl.
He also has been a photographic member of a Denver Post team that has won a Pulitzer Prize and a regional Emmy Award.
AAron also has a razor-sharp sense of humor, which he shows through his blogs.
Since I was involved in hiring AAron’s dad to one of his first newspaper jobs back in the 1970s, I have known young AAron his entire life. It has been quite a life to watch.
Besides being an award-winning photographer, AAron has a good sense of humor as is shown in this blog he sent last week from Sochi about Russian food:
“What the crap is dried meat factory production? Horse meat and beef fat, really?
“I come from a long line of eaters. Real champions of gut and glut. My dad’s family is not slight and they are proud to be well fed. Tortillas, beans, bacon, burritos, tacos, ham, cheese, fried pig fat for snacks, huge chunks of soggy cake soaked in whole milk, oh, and lard — lots of lard.
“Duh. Lard is actually a prominent fixture on our family crest — a big block of it sweating and emanating all of its wisdom and glory for the ages.
“Despite my family’s oxygen-like attachment to food, I wholeheartedly doubt they would get all Oliver Twisty here in Russia. I do not envision any one of them, no matter how hungry, asking, ‘Please, sir, I want some more dried meat factory production with horse meat and beef fat.’
“Sorry, Russia, your food is not good. We may eat lard and pig fat and a bunch of other bodybuilding foods where I come from, but they don’t taste like they’ve been sitting in the fridge since the Cold War.
“It’s no wonder everyone here looks like an unhappy competitive gymnast — no one could possibly binge on this cuisine.”
I have known the Ontiveroz family for a long time. I first hired AAron’s dad Milton when he was a Northwest College student in Powell. He worked for me for a year in Lander where he met his future wife, Liz Trimmer. Liz’s dad Harvey delivered papers to the newsstands for us.
For the past 20 years, Milton has been an Institutional Communication Specialist at the university in Laramie and is well –known all over the state.
Young Ontiveroz graduated from Laramie High School in 2003. He is a 2008 UW graduate.
AAron (the two upper case A’s were Liz’s idea, Milton says) launched his sterling journalism career at Northwest. While at NWC, he had a national award-winning article for the Northwest Trail, while competing against such schools as Harvard.
Earlier, AAron worked for the Powell Tribune, Laramie Boomerang and Cheyenne Tribune-Eagle.
The Pulitzer came while AAron was shooting for the Post. The newspaper won for its overall coverage of the Aurora movie theater massacre. Twelve people were killed, and 58 others injured when a gunman began firing during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in the summer of 2013.
Among his other awards is a regional Emmy for a video he helped produced two years ago with videographer Mahala Gaylord.
AAron’s blogs can be found at http://blogs.denverpost.com/olympics/2014/02/19/sochi-2014-winter-olympics-hey-snow/26813/.
On other blogs, Ontiveroz had this to say: “Do you want to visit the coldest place on Earth? Go to southeast Wyoming and bask in the brutal cold, hair-stripping wind (it happened to me) and sun in the sky just for looks — not functionality.
“So, as it were, as they say, yada, yada, yada — what the heck, Russia? Why has it taken so long for winter to arrive at the WINTER Olympics? Why has my butt not yet frozen off?
“Here, it seems everything is on what people have started referring to as Russian Time. A time frame in which a local says, ‘About five minutes,’ but really means 60 minutes in real time.
“Who knew the Russians had the power to delay even the weather? Buses, yes, but an entirely unpredictable system that has miffed TV weathermen for ages?
“Russia cannot medal in hockey at their own Olympics with a total hometown advantage, but putting a delay on an entire season … wow, bravo.
“The $50-billion games are an accomplishment all on their own, but their Wyoming’s Ontiveroz Covers the Super Bowl, Olympicsachievements of climate control are impressive. That’s not weird at all. Just very frightening.”
(Note: Lander’s Ian Lee also covered the Olympics, for CNN)
Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at www.billsniffin.com. He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written four books. His most recent book is “Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders” which is available at www.wyomingwonders.com.