As we drag ourselves through the mundane, repetitive tasks of modern life, it’s easy to complain about the smallest of inconveniences. It’s okay, everyone does it — but sometimes, it’s nice to get a reminder of just how good most of us have it. Today, that reminder comes by way of USC football player Jake Olson, who made headlines this year as football’s first blind long snapper.
His story is more than inspirational. It’s a subtle message that life is more beautiful than we give it credit for.
A Fight From The Start
From day one, Jake Olson was up against the world.
Olson was born with a rare form of retinal cancer called retinoblastoma. At 10 months old, cancer destroyed the sight in his left eye. Years later at the age of 12, the disease then took Jake’s sight in his right eye, leaving the young boy blind.
Cancer Gives You A Choice
To many people, cancer is a non-negotiable disease. It’s easy to give up and let life waste away, but that’s not what Jake Olson had in mind. In his opinion, we “have a choice with cancer… You can let it change who you are, or you can go out and attack life.”
As you’ll soon see, Olson chose the latter option.
The Long Road To Success
Yesterday, I met Jake Olson. The blind high school football player from Orange Lutheran high school. Such a inspirational story of what this kid has/is over coming throughout his life. Saw his story on college game day yesterday morning and met him as well, coolest dude I've ever met. Just shows no matter what you can get through anything! #Inspiration #NothingCanHoldYouBack #IfYouWantItThenGoGetIt #JakeOlson
Olson received international attention in 2017 when he became the first blind long snapper during the University Of Southern California’s win over Western Michagain in 2017 — but before that, he was inspiring people in different venues.
Just months after losing his sight, a 12-year-old Jake Olson traveled the country as a motivational speaker. His ambition didn’t stop there.
Olson The Entrepreneur
As he grew older, Olson’s public speaking improved to the point where he could make a business out of it. Eventually, Olson set up a business with his college roommate Daniel Hennes. Together, the two received a special offer from the NCAA that allowed Olson to make money as a public speaker while also playing college football.
The NCAA appropriately calls this the “Double Life Clause.”