USC long snapper Jake Olson had one of the coolest sports stories of 2017. Olson’s been blind since the age of 12 due to retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer, but he appeared in two games this season and delivered some perfect snaps.
It just so happens than Olson is actually a two-sport athlete. Golf was his main sport before he lost his vision, and he can still drive a golf ball pretty damn well.
Here’s a video USC posted on Thursday:
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) December 28, 2017
According to a 2015 profile by Golf Digest, Olson was scoring in the 80s with his best round at 78. Here’s what he said about overcoming blindness as well as a major growth spurt in his golf game:
“Probably for a good six months to a year I was trying to make consistent solid contact on the ball,” he said. “There had been days that were total frustration, throwing clubs, not seeing results, just frustrating. But I wasn’t going to let it stop me.
“Now, five-and-a-half years later, it’s gotten to the point that the things I struggle with are things that any other golfer struggles with — fine tuning my swing and repeating the same swing.”
Olson played for his high school’s varsity team. His father served as a spotter, lining his son up for the shot and then backing away to let him do his thing. It’s good to see Olson hasn’t lost his touch.