Jake Olson is a blind football player who is part of the University of Southern California’s team.
He took part in his very first college regular-season match on Saturday, and managed to snap the ball on the last extra point in the Trojans’ home victory over Western Michigan. The final score for the fourth-ranked team was 49 – 31.
Jake Olson Says Practice Makes Perfect
Jake Olson had lost the use of both his eyes by the time he was 12-years old. He has always been a fan of the football team he played for on Saturday, and was keen to take to the Coliseum’s field after spending two years at practice and two years of playing football at high school-level. Punters at NZ betting sites have taken note of this extraordinary player, and hope to see him get on to the field again soon.
In a telephone interview with the New York Times on Saturday night, Olson spoke of how important practicing was, saying that it was muscle memory, not magic, that helped him do what he needed to do on the football field. Olson says that hoping that something would work out was not what he did –if one does something correctly, it will go as it should.
Blindness No Obstacle When it Comes to a Love of Football
At just 10-months old, Olson’s left eye was removed after the youngster suffered through retinoblastoma. At the age of 12-years, he needed his right eye to be removed as well.
Olson has learned how to live without a sense of sight, and his passion for football became evident during his high school career.
Olson Proves His Worth as a Player
Chuck Peterson coached Olson at Orange Lutheran High School, and said that the player had proved himself as the best man for the job, going on to state that Olson had had only two bad snaps, and that these were the first and the last of his years as a player for the school.
Peterson stated that at no point was Olson any kind of charity case, adding that at no point would Olson allow for treatment like that anyway.
Olson Gets By With a Little Help from His Friends
Petersen said that at high school games, one of Jake Olson’s teammates would help the blind player down the sideline when a kick was coming up.
The holder would then line Jake Olson up so that he was facing the goal posts, and then an audible signal would be given to let the player know where to snap the ball.
Peterson added that the opposing coaches and officials were in full knowledge of Olson’s lack of sight, and were considerate of this fact, but that sometimes opposing players were not aware of this.
They would attempt to distract the player, running at him, flashing their hands, but all to no avail.
Jake Olson’s ambition, although it did not induce Petersen to allow him to snap on punts or block rivals, combined with his determination, ended up paying off.
He earned a scholarship for players with physical disabilities, and managed to join the Trojans in 2015.