Trojan freshman is the eighth recipient of the honor.
USC Athletics welcomed 13 children with life-threatening illnesses to the Coliseum this season to enjoy the ultimate Trojan experience.
2016: Olson, who has been an inspiration to and involved with the USC football program since the age of 12 in 2009 when he lost his eyesight to cancer, will serve as a reserve walk-on long snapper as a redshirt freshman in 2016. USC will prevent contact during any practice drills in which he is involved to make sure he is protected.
2015: Olson did not see any action as a reserve walk-on long snapper as a first-year freshman in 2015. He won the 2016 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award, presented to a leader in the world of college football who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.
HIGH SCHOOL: Olson was a long-snapper at Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High as a junior and senior in 2013 and 2014, guided onto the field and positioned over the ball by a teammate.
He also played golf at Orange Lutheran (he usually shot in the 80s).
PERSONAL: He is a business administration major at USC with a B+ average (3.41 GPA). He was born with retinoblastoma, a cancer of the retina. He lost his left eye when he was 10 months old and, despite numerous procedures on his other eye, he had his right eye removed when he was 12 in 2009 (he spent the day before his 2009 surgery at a USC football practice). He is a motivational speaker and has co-authored 2 books about overcoming adversity. His story has been chronicled nationally, including several ESPN stories. He received a scholarship to attend USC from Swim With Mike’s Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund (because that scholarship is regarded as athletic aid, USC sought and received a waiver from the NCAA so that he did not count against the Trojans’ NCAA-mandated 85 scholarship roster limit). He uses a guide dog named Quebec.