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Q&A with Erik Olson
Release: 02/15/2006
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Feb. 15, 2006

After a seventh place finish at the Waikoloa Invitational in Waikoloa, Hawaii, the Washington men's golf team is back in Seattle preparing for the rest of the spring season. took a moment to talk with Washington junior and defending Pac-10 Champion Erik Olson about the trip and his goals for 2006.

Here's what Erik had to say: You just got back from a tournament in Hawaii. How was the Trip?

Erik Olson: "The trip was a lot of fun. It's Hawaii, so you can't really complain. But you could say it was an interesting trip, tournament-wise, with the injuries and illnesses we had. All in all I think we handled the situation fairly well. We didn't perform our best, but I think we handled all of the injuries as well as we could." What are your goals for this season?

Olson: "I'd like to win some tournaments. I'd like to perform to the best of my ability. It would be great to be an All-American again and an All-Pac-10 selection again." What will it take to reach those goals and defend your Pac-10 Championship?

Olson: "I think it will take hard work. I've just got to take it one day at a time, to always try and be better tomorrow." What's it like being the Pac-10 Champion and practicing every day next to the NCAA Champion? (Teammate James Lepp was the 2005 NCAA medalist.)

Olson: "It's no different than it was before we won. We don't really look at each other as the Pac-10 and NCAA Champions. We're such good friends. We just try to learn from each other. I try to learn from him and I think he tries to learn from me. We really don't think about it at all. We're just friends out there, hitting the ball." One of the things Coach (Matt) Thurmond has mentioned is how great the team chemistry is. What's it like from your perspective?

Olson: "We're a family. The guys on the team are my closest friends at the University of Washington. I`d do anything for those guys and I think they'd do the same for me. We take a lot of pride in picking each other up." What would be the perfect ending to this season for you?

Olson: "Winning the National Championship, no question." You were diagnosed with diabetes at age 16. Do you think having to overcome that has helped you succeed?

Olson: "Yes. It makes you more disciplined about the choices you make outside of school. It makes you grow up a little quicker. Because I have to be aware of my health I'm aware of everything around me. I think it helps me make some better decisions socially, school-wise and on the golf course. It has helped me be successful in a lot of the things I do." You're an avid reader. Do you have any recommendations?

Olson: "The Da Vinci Code is a good read. Also Angels and Demons. I'm reading A Million Little Pieces right now - it's a pretty good book." It's also a pretty controversial book right now.

Olson: "It is a controversial book. That's why I like it. Oh, and the Harry Potter books aren't bad."

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