Lisa Olson - The Sports Illustrated Reading Program
The Sports Illustrated Reading Program
For Lisa Olson becoming a sports journalist was not a whim. "She almost learned to read with Sports Illustrated and her brothers' Boy's Life," reported Leigh Montville in Sports Illustrated. When Olson was seven she would report on the sporting events in her neighborhood in a newsletter she created. Of course when she started high school she was on the school newspaper and continued into college.
While Olson was in graduate school she approached Bob Sales of the Boston Herald about any kind of sports writing work available. Sales gave her a chance writing the anonymous daily sports summary. Sales could see Olson's excellent style shining through and decided to move her onto sports coverage of the local schools. Sales commented to Sports Illustrated, "She did nice stories portraying athletes as human beings.… These were stories about high school volleyball players and swimmers, and she made you want to read them. I like what she did a lot."
By this point, Olson had proven her stellar capabilities to Sales and he gave her an opportunity to cover the Boston Bruins hockey team when his regular reporter became ill and was unable to cover the beat. She really knew her sports and it came through in her writing. Olson's talent was taking her to high places in the Boston Herald. After a year and a half of reporting for the Bruins, a spot opened up for covering the New England Patriots. This was an excellent opportunity for Olson and she jumped at the chance.