If you watch SportsCenter religiously like I do, you probably saw the feature that the show did on Jake Olson, a longtime USC Trojans football fan who first lost his left eye at 10 months old and then his right eye at age 12 because of everyone’s most hated disease, cancer.
The segment had ESPN’s Shelley Smith—who has been battling cancer herself for the past few years—follow Jake around and update both of their status’, showing how Jake was an inspiration for the longtime reporter during her battle. It was a tearjerker for sure, bros.
First meeting when he was 12 years old—when Jake was a guest picker on College Gameday during the 2010 season—Jake has come a long way from just being a kid who adored to Trojans to where he is today.
Although Jake is blind, he never lost faith that, one day, he would suit up for the Men of Troy for a game, playing football during high school and befriending former SC head coach Pete Carroll, who routinely welcomed Jake to practice to hear the sounds of the game and deliver inspirational speeches to the team during Carroll’s tenure.
Thanks to Jake’s perseverance and passion, he just got word today that he’s officially a member of the USC Trojans football team, overcoming the odds of being blind and the struggle of the football team being limited to 25 scholarship players in this year’s class due to NCAA rules.
A recipient of the Swim With Mike scholarship, which is annually given to physically challenged athletes, Olson was granted a waiver by the NCAA on Monday to allow Olson to join the team, making him available to play this week—with the player tweeting out how much this means to him.
Tomorrow I walk out onto Howard Jones field not as a fan or honorary member, but as a player for the USC Trojans! #fighton
— Jake Olson (@jakethesnakeo) September 15, 2015
Here’s to Jake Olson, who has battled his entire life to live out his dream of wearing the cardinal and gold colors of the Trojans his entire life. That’s the true definition of a real bro, right there.