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Jake Olson

Jake Olson became the first completely blind football player in college football history when he successfully long snapped a PAT for the USC Trojans 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 he was just 8 months old and he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma. The disease claimed his left eye at 10 months old and in November 2009 Jake lost his right eye after battling the cancer for 12 years. Jake confronted many challenges and encountered many setbacks during his battle and loss of sight but remained strong. He has used his experience to inspire and motivate others by authoring two books, creating a non-profit foundation to help visually impaired children and support cancer research and by sharing his story openly as a motivational speaker. Jake is also a life-long USC football fan. While in high school he learned to long snap and was the starting long snapper for his team his junior and senior year. After being accepted to USC, he was offered a walk on spot with the USC football team, making him the first completely blind Division I college football player. He saw his first live action when he snapped in USC’s home opener on September 2, 2017 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, Jake has become an entrepreneur, co-founding Engage, an online platform that digitizes the process of booking talent for experiences.

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Jake Olson Reviews

John Argue

Review: 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!

Josh Killian

Review: 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

Cindy Wieties

Review: 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++++++++++

Lisa Wilterink

Review: 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!

More About Jake Olson

  • 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.