Colbert: Hopefully my feet are big enough
According to legend, it was Dale Strode, the recently retired sports editor for The Aspen Times, who named the Skierdome. I was told as much when given a tour of Aspen High School a few weeks ago, one that included a stop inside the historic gymnasium.
Strode’s influence and passion for local athletics was unquestioned. More than once I have been told how big of feet I need to fill the shoes he left behind.
Replacing one of the Western Slope’s most well-known and long-established sports writers is no easy task, but it’s a task I was recently appointed to tackle. It’s also a task I’m genuinely excited to have, and I wanted to reach out and introduce myself and let everyone know I’m prepared to be the go-to source for sports news in the upper Roaring Fork Valley.
The most obvious difference between Strode and I is age. At 28, I’m still getting my feet wet in the industry. I was born and raised in Kansas, and after changing my major three times, I graduated with a degree in journalism from Wichita State University. My WSU resume includes a stint as the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, having been named the Kansas Collegiate Journalist of the Year twice, and having traveled with the men’s basketball team when it made the Final Four in 2013.
After graduation, I worked for The Hays Daily News in western Kansas for nearly two years before I moved to Steamboat Springs in May 2015, where I spent just over a year working as a sports writer and photographer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
As a flatlander new to the mountains, I spent the past year falling in love with the snow and myriad activities that come with it. When the season gets closer, I’ll return to talk about the trials and tribulations of me learning to snowboard.
Leaving Steamboat wasn’t on my radar, but circumstances led to an incredible opportunity to become the sports editor for The Aspen Times, and I couldn’t be happier with the decision.
I’m excited to cover the big events such as the Winter X Games and the FIS World Cup Finals, but I take just as much joy in covering a high school basketball game or small 10K full of local runners. To me, being a sports writer in a small community isn’t a job but a lifestyle. It’s a passion that runs through my veins, and as you get to know me and see me around town, I hope this love for what I do is apparent to everyone.
After all, I don’t write for myself, I write for all of you. This is your hometown paper, and the athletes I write about are your neighbors, your friends, your children. Big or small, I want to share their stories with the world.
Over the coming months as I learn all I can about Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley, don’t be shy about reaching out to me. I’m very interactive online, so follow me on Twitter (@austin_colbert) and Instagram (@adcolbert87), and certainly send me your thoughts, concerns or story ideas to email@example.com.
I take tremendous pride in my work and want to serve this wonderful community the best I can. After all, this is now my home as well, and I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you.
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