Jake Olson

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Jake Olson became the first completely blind football player in college football history when he successfully long snapped a point after try for the University of Southern California (USC) against Western Michigan on September 2nd, 2017. Jake's story of overcoming retinoblastoma and going blind at the age of 12 has served as an inspiration to many people across the world.


Born on March 26th, 1997, Jake's first battle with cancer came when at 8 months old, he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma. Two months later, the disease claimed his left eye. In November 2009, after battling the cancer for 12 years, Jake lost his right eye. During Jake's battle, he confronted many challenges and encountered many setbacks- but he remained strong. He has used his experience to inspire and motivate others by authoring two books, establishing a non-profit foundation to support cancer research and visually impaired children, and by sharing his story openly and impactfully as a motivational speaker.


Jake is also a life-long USC football fan. In high school, he learned to long snap and earned the starting spot on his high school's varsity team as a junior and senior. After being accepted to USC, Jake was offered a walk-on roster spot on the legendary Trojans football team. This made him the first-ever completely blind Division I college football player. He saw his first live-action in 2017 when he snapped in USC’s home opener on September 2nd and was named the Pac-12 special teams’ player of the week. In his college career, he had a total of three successful PAT snaps, earning his spot as one of the top two most inspirational stories in college football's 150-year history. His story has been featured on ESPN, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, Fox Sports, Hallmark, TBN, The Golf Channel, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, etc.


Since graduating from USC, Jake has gone on to win an adaptive golf championship, spend time with his dog Quebec, build on his already long-established presence as a motivational speaker, and become an entrepreneur. Inspired by his experiences being booked for speaking and marketing engagements, Jake co-founded Engage, an online platform that digitizes the process of booking speakers, athletes, and other talent for events and experiences. In 2022, Engage closed a pre-seed round that valued the growing startup at $30 million. 


Jake's partnered with Callaway on a recent campaign. Check it out here.

Speaking Topics


Jake shares his incredible life journey of battling cancer eight times, going blind at the age of 12, and making history in athletics, business and more. Using a mix of personal stories, a lot of humor, and some unique life philosophies, Jake helps audience members change how they perceive adversity. He helps audiences realize that often what feels like a big setback can be a setup for something much greater in life if they take the right approach to confronting their adversity. During this talk audiences will laugh, think, and maybe cry a little bit. They will leave more grateful and with an entirely new way to perceive and tackle adversity. This talk is a huge hit for sales teams, schools, and anyone trying to help their team develop more grit, level up in their business, or improve their perspective and accountability.


Cancer may have taken Jake's eysight at age twelve, but it did not take his will to achieve. In this talk Jake discusses how the will to succeed was his, but because of his blindness, he needed to find a different way to achieve his goals. That way was leaning on other incredible people around him who were willing to adapt and meet Jake where he was. Whether it was a math teacher learning braille to better teach him, coaches devising a whole new scheme for long snapping so he could play football, or his colleagues helping him use the newest technology so he could excel in his work, Jake know first hand how impactful being surrounded by inclusive people is. He also knows that everyone is better off from it in the end. In this talk Jake talks about how DEI can make teams better and that amazing things happen when coworkers recognize the will of their teammates and work to help them find a way.


Excellent! Jake was an amazing and dynamic speaker. He was certainly a draw for our event. He spent the entire day with us - golfing, meeting our guests - truly generous with his time. Such a wonderful person!

John Argue

Jake was a huge success, and everyone loved his message, from the CEO to the newest sales professional in the room...Patterson Dental is an organization that has been going through a transformation of people and systems for the last 5 years and this year's meeting was about coming together, embracing the change in our market (customer and others) and getting back to growth through an offensive position. Jake's message supported all of this perfectly. You won't be disappointed

Josh Killian

I’ve worked with many external speakers for large corporate conferences and meetings for many years and highly recommend Jake Olson as a motivational speaker. He has a fresh and inspiring story and is authentic in his mission to help others, both through his speaking engagements and in his not-for-profit work. He is only 22 but possesses wisdom and grace well beyond his years. He is articulate, has a great sense of humor, and will customize his remarks to fit your audience. He received the highest rating of any of our speakers at a recent conference and, as a result, is receiving requests for more speaking engagements from the attendees. Suggest that you have a large bowl of water for his beautiful guide dog, Quebec! 8 - ) A++++++++++

Cindy Wieties

We have received nothing but great reviews from our virtual attendees. Jake's story and message was inspiring, thought-provoking, challenging, and engaging. I can't imagine a better fit for this event. His message was also very timely and relevant in regards to the many challenges we are all facing during the COVID pandemic. Thank you!

Lisa Wilterink

Jake’s presentation was a HUGE success. He is so humble, has a great sense of humor and truly a light for those with disabilities. Some of the comments in the chat were: “is there anything you can’t do Jake?” and “I wish he could speak with us every month!” and many more about what an inspiration he is. Compassion to help anyone who is suffering is a message that should be echoed, especially now.

Tina Cataldo

Jake you are a rockstar! You are hilarious, humble, open, optimistic and motivational. I can speak on behalf of all our attendees today that they took so much away from you speech and are motivated to help create a culture of including. As you said, start with Humility, Have Compassion and Sympathy – and most importantly, love one another!

Nate Warner
  • What is your favorite quote? "Don't take life too seriously. You'll never get out alive." -Elbert Hubbard
  • Are there any moments that stand out as having a significant impact on your career? The first time Pete Carroll invited me to watch a USC practice before I went blind, getting into USC and finding out I'd get the opportunity to be a member of the football team.
  • Outside of your profession do you have any hobbies/interests? I love playing poker, golf, the guitar, and talking sports. I am an avid fantasy sports player. I also love taking on new and exciting tasks.