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February 4, 2004

Sign language prevails in this battle on the wrestling mat

From: Ralston Recorder, NE - Feb 4, 2004

By Zachary Baehr

For all the yelling that takes place at a wrestling match, the gym gets strangely quiet when Chris Olsen hits the mat.

Some times, it doesn't bother him at all.

"I think it's sweet that I don't have to hear them all yelling at me," Olsen said through his interpreter, laughing all the way.

Other times, it's frustrating for the sophomore Ralston wrestler with a hearing loss.

"But it's not fair the coach can yell and tell other people, but he can't really help me," Olsen said.

Marsha Anderson is in her fifth year as interpreter for Ralston high school athletes. She first worked with former Ram Eric Moses, living the up and down life a wrestler endures.

"I get real excited," Anderson said. "I get really nervous and tense, and nervous in my stomach when he's getting closer to wrestling."

Anderson has accepted a position at another school district, but she was allowed to stay on with Ralston through the remainder of the wrestling season. It's allowed to her to remain one of Olsen's biggest fans.

He said he picks up on her

"Like on Saturday at Burke, she was really excited," Olsen said. "I was close to losing, but she got real excited because I won.

"She's a great interpreter."

Anderson has picked up much about the sport in her five years at Ralston. She's a big part of the reason why Olsen can learn strategy on the mat.

"They just really show me each step of the move and everything through my interpreter," Olsen said.

Ralston coach Jim McGrath also said Anderson has always done a terrific job.

"I didn't have to learn a process. She had learn to be with me," McGrath said. "But we've got along great. She's nice, the kids like her, she's become a real close friend. She does a really good job."

Anderson said everything works out well because they've developed a routine.

"The first year he really had to teach me everything about wrestling," Anderson said. "I've learned so much about wrestling through the years that we have really come up with a system that works."

"I enjoy it," Anderson said. "I love the sport. It's a lot of fun."

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