UC Berkeley News


William Olson

02 September 2004

Dr. William (Bill) Olson, DPM, a volunteer for the Cal Sports Medicine Program, died at home in Lafayette on August 24, 2004, after a two-year battle with esophageal cancer. Since 1990, he had volunteered with the University of California Sports Medicine Staff and worked with intercollegiate athletes. He also helped with pre-participation physicals as a podiatry consultant.

Dr. Olson was born on August 30, 1954. He attended Drake University in Iowa (where he was a pitcher on the baseball team), then went on to graduate school at the California College of Podiatric Medicine. For the last 20 years he maintained a private practice in San Francisco and Walnut Creek at the Center for Sports Medicine. Dr. Olson was well known nationally, having served as President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. He also published numerous articles and contributed to textbooks in sports medicine and biomechanics. A sought-after speaker, he lectured at national and international medical conferences on topics related to lower-extremity sports medicine and biomechanics.

“For the last two years he was optimistic and courageous during his battle against cancer,” says Jeff Nelson, associate team physician for Sports Medicine and primary care physician for University Health Services. “Even during his illness he remained committed to our student-athletes and our program and continued to volunteer in our clinic. He always had a positive outlook and his presence will be greatly missed, but his legacy will always be with us.”

Dr. Olson is survived by his wife, Margaret, and two daughters, Lauren and Melanie.

A memorial for Dr. Olson will be held on Friday, Sept. 3, at 2 p.m. at the Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, 1801 LaCassie Ave., Walnut Creek; (925) 935-1524. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be sent to the William R. Olson, Cal Sports Medicine Educational Fund. Checks payable to UC Regents may be mailed to UC Berkeley, BearBackers, 2223 Fulton Ave., 3rd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94720-4424. Note in the check’s memo section: William Olson Sports Medicine Fund.