Claiming he had been a collegiate wrestler injected just enough plausibility for everyone to fall for Robert Olson's story about breaking a mountain lion's neck in a life-or-death struggle.
Screenshot from KSBY's report on Robin Olson
We regret to inform all you wrestlers out there that the story about Robin Olson and his fight-to-the-death with a mountain lion was as a hoax.
Local California news station KSBY first reported the story, by way of a video interview in which Olson claimed that while hiking with his young son in Prefumo Canyon, he was attacked and defending himself by breaking the mountain lion's neck. The video has since been removed from KSBY's website, but someone grabbed it in time:
The piece includes photos of scratches on the arms and legs of Olson, while the somber looking San Luis Obispo resident reasons that hiking off-trail was the reason he came across one of the 5,000 mountain lions that live in the state. What makes it so believable, however, is the mention that Olson had been a collegiate wrestler, injecting just enough plausibility for everyone to fall for it.
"It's horrible, I mean, I love animals. I just happened to be in her space by accident," he says.
Well, the cat is out of the bag.
"Upon further investigation, his claim has been determined to be a hoax," wrote KSBY News. "Officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife interviewed Olson on Monday and say he admitted the story was fabricated.
"KSBY News staffers attempted, but failed, to independently confirm his claims prior to the broadcast of this story. We sincerely apologize to our viewers and will work hard to make sure additional protocols are in place to make sure this kind of error does not happen again."
Oh, well. In hindsight, we should have known better. Everyone knows the only real way to defend youself against a ravenous cougar is to sit into open guard, arm drag, and use the rear naked choke.