Playing golf at the collegiate level is something that is achieved by very few people. Leaving your home country to get an education while playing your favorite sport is even rarer, but it’s exactly what junior Olivia Eliasson envisioned for herself. She had a dream, and she is now able to live it while playing at K-State.
“I always knew that I wanted to go to college,” Eliasson said. “It’s unique to have the opportunity to go to a university, get a good education, and to do your sport on a high level at the same time, as you are able to here in the U.S. It’s very unique.”
Playing sports in college is the dream of a lot of high school athletes. But Eliasson isn’t a typical case. She comes from the town Bjärred, which is located in Sweden beside the Baltic sea. How does someone get to Kansas from somewhere across the Atlantic Ocean?
“I sent out emails to schools that I thought looked interesting to me,” Eliasson said. “Where it was a good climate to play golf, that I thought had a team that was a good level for me, and that had an education that I was interested in. So one of the schools then, was K-State. When I visited here, I really liked it.”
Eliasson doesn’t play games when it comes to academics though. Education was an important part of her college choice, and she picked a tough major- biochemistry.
“It’s tough at times,” Eliasson said. “Especially for me having some lab classes, and such. But I mean you just have to do your best and try to keep up with everything that you missed. Stay in touch with classmates.”
Her work most people see is on the golf course, though. Eliasson has helped the Wildcat team tremendously this season and in seasons past. She has finished in the top 20 in six tournaments this season. She had six top 20 finishes last season as well.
Her golfing prowess didn’t just start in Manhattan. Eliasson was ranked No. 24 among Swedish amateurs in high school. She also placed third in the Swedish Junior Stroke Play Championships in 2010.
“Golf is like many other sports, you always want to get better,” Eliasson said. “When you get better, you find something else that you still want to get better. So for me, I still feel like I can do better.”