20-year-old from Minnesota paralyzed playing hockey


Minnesota native Matt Olson was paralyzed playing hockey on Sunday.

The 20-year-old from Isanti "caught an edge" behind the net and fell head first into the boards, suffering a permanent injury to his spine, according to his Caring Bridge page.

"[Olson] caught an edge racing for a puck behind the net and was severely injured. This was not the result of physical contact from any player. This was a very serious spinal injury that resulted in permanent damage. The family appreciates all the prayers and well wishes."

The former Totino-Grace hockey player was playing for the Chicago Cougars of the U.S. Premier Hockey League (USPHL) when he was injured.

An official from the Chicago Cougars said Olson is doing well after undergoing surgery to stabilize his spine, but Olson is paralyzed from his shoulders down and has a life-long fight ahead of him, KARE 11 reports.

A Go Fund Me page has been created with a goal of raising $500,000 for Olson and his family.

Jack Jablonski, the former Benilde-St. Margaret's athlete who was paralyzed after crashing head first into the boards, offered his support for Olson on Twitter.


Totino-Grace plays Mahtomedi in a section playoff semifinal game on Wednesday night.

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