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Angela Marie Ruggiero (born January 3, 1980) is an American former ice hockey defenseman. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee. She served as an ex officio member the Executive Board of the IOC from being elected the Chairperson of the IOC Athletes' Commission, the body that represents all Olympic athletes worldwide, a post which she held from 2016 to 2018.[1][2]

Angela Ruggiero
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2015
Angela Ruggiero - 2018 (cropped).jpg
Ruggiero in November 2018
Born (1980-01-03) January 3, 1980 (age 39)
Panorama City, California, U.S.
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 192 lb (87 kg; 13 st 10 lb)
Position Defense
Shot Right
Played for
National team  United States
Playing career 1996–2011
Ruggiero is recruited by Boston Blades with # 8 Caitlyn Cahow and # 22 Kacey Bellamy during a special draft on August 12th, 2010

Ruggiero is a four-time Olympian in ice hockey. In her career, she was named as the best player in the NCAA, and in the world, by the Hockey News. She was a member of the United States women's national ice hockey team, medaling in four successive Winter Olympic Games, including one gold medal in 1998, two silvers in 2002 and 2010, and one bronze in 2006. She competed in ten Women's World Championships, winning four gold medals and six silver.

On June 29, 2015, Ruggiero was announced as a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2015. She was inducted on November 9, 2015. She is only the fourth woman and the second American woman to be inducted. She is also the only person to be inducted that was born in California. She is the all-time leader in games played for Team USA, male or female, with 256 games.

Playing careerEdit

Born in Panorama City, Ruggiero grew up in Sylmar and Simi Valley, California.

Ruggiero played prep school hockey at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut.[3] While a senior at Choate, Ruggiero was the youngest member of the gold medal-winning 1998 United States Olympic Hockey Team in Nagano, Japan. She was also a member of the silver medal-winning 2002 team in Salt Lake City, Utah, a member of the bronze-winning 2006 team in Torino, Italy, and a member of the silver-winning 2010 team in Vancouver, Canada.

In her senior year at Harvard University, Ruggiero won the 2004 Patty Kazmaier Award as the top player in U.S. women's collegiate hockey. As of 2015 she is the only defenseman to win the award. She graduated from Harvard cum laude in 2004 with a degree in government. She received her master's degree in Sports Management from the University of Minnesota in 2010.

Ruggiero made several U.S. professional hockey "firsts" on January 28, 2005, when she played for the Tulsa Oilers in a Central Hockey League game against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. She was the first woman to actively play in a regular season professional hockey game in North America at a position other than goalie. In addition, since her brother Bill Ruggiero, was a goaltender for the Oilers, they were the first brother-sister combination to play professionally at the same time. She recorded an assist on the final goal of the game making her the only woman to score a point in a North American professional hockey game.

Ruggiero was also credited with the game-winning goal in the shoot-out that won the 2005 Women's World Ice Hockey Championships for the United States against the Canadian national women's hockey team, winning the first gold medal ever for the United States at the world championship. At the 2005 Esso National Women's Championships, she was named the Best Defenseman for Group A.[4]

While representing the United States in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, Ruggiero was widely quoted for comments she made to the Sports Illustrated website regarding the Canadian team's behavior during the preliminary round of the women's hockey tournament:

"I'm upset that Canada has been running up the score, especially against the host nation... There was no need for that. They're trying to pad their stats... Canada is running up the score for whatever reasons — personal, short-term."[5] Her remarks were criticized by people ranging from members of Team Canada to sports commentators, although others such as Don Cherry agreed with her statements. Her concern was that the one-sided results (Canada outscored their competitors 36-1) could jeopardize women's hockey Olympic status as it might be perceived as not competitive enough.[6]

Ruggiero in a game against the ECAC All-Stars on January 3, 2010.

While with the Minnesota Whitecaps, Ruggiero had the opportunity to play with 1998 Canadian Olympic goalie Manon Rheaume during the 2008-09 Whitecaps season.[7] In December 2009, Ruggiero was named to her fourth Olympic hockey team. To prepare for the 2010 Olympics, she joined a group of NHL players in the summer of 2009 for workouts at Athletes' Performance in Carson, California. Her preparation relied less on powering through workouts and paid more attention to detail. The training group included Chris Drury, Richard Park, and George Parros.[8]

On January 14, 2010, she was named as an alternate captain for the United States Olympic hockey team.[9][10] In addition, she was announced as one of nine current and former athletes standing for election to become members of the IOC in Vancouver. The announcement was made on January 20, 2010. Ruggiero is seeking to become the third IOC member from the U.S., joining Jim Easton and Anita DeFrantz.[11] On November 10, 2010, Ruggiero was selected to serve on the evaluation commission that will inspect the three cities competing to host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. She will be one of four Americans on the 11-member panel that will travel to potential host cities for on-site inspections from February 8-March 5, 2011.[12] During the 2010–11 Boston Blades season, Ruggiero scored the game-winning goal on December 19, 2010, which snapped the Montreal Stars undefeated season.[13]

On December 28, 2011, Ruggiero announced her retirement via Twitter.[14]

Ruggiero presented the gold medals to the US women's soccer team at the 2012 Summer Olympics[15] and did the same for the US women's ice hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

After Ruggiero claimed the gold medal at the Nagano Winter Games, she was refused the opportunity to participate in a local game at a rink in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Despite being willing to pay the entry fee, she was told that only men could participate at the rink.[16] An undercover news crew investigated the matter, and the rink acquiesced to allow women to participate at the rink.

Ruggiero is the author of a memoir, Breaking the Ice: My Journey to Olympic Hockey, the Ivy League & Beyond, published by Drummond Publishing Group in 2005. The book details her hockey career, including her experiences with misconceptions about women's hockey and the challenges of being a female player in a male-dominated sport. She was the former Director of the New York Islanders' Project Hope, as well as the New York Islanders Children's Foundation.[17]

Ruggiero graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government, and also earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. In May 2006, Ruggiero was selected from a field of twelve Olympians to be a candidate on the sixth season of NBC's business-themed reality game show The Apprentice. The season debuted in January 2007. During Ruggiero's time on the show, many references were made to her Olympic and hockey experience. She was eliminated on the season's tenth episode, airing on March 25, 2007. At the conclusion of her stint on the television show, she was offered a job from Donald Trump.[18]

Ruggiero was a member of a goodwill tour of Olympic athletes that traveled to Afghanistan. In addition, she traveled to Uganda with the Right to Play program.[18] Ruggiero was enrolled at the University of Minnesota pursuing a master's degree in sports management. The objective was to implement a sporting program for children.[19] On October 6, 2011, it was announced that Ruggiero was to be inducted into the National Italian Sports Hall of Fame. Ruggiero was inducted on October 22 in Chicago.[20]

EA Sports officially announced that Ruggiero would be among the first two female hockey players in NHL 13. Along with Hayley Wickenheiser, she has a playable character in the game which can be added to any team of the user's choice.[21]

Post-hockey careerEdit

Ruggiero is the co-founder and managing partner of the Sports Innovation Lab, a market research and advisory firm focused on the intersection of sports and innovation, with a focus on identifying trends and evaluating technology products and services that will drive the future of sport. She was a former Senior Management Associate with Bridgewater Associates.

Ruggiero is a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic Committee, Foundation Board Member of the World Anti-Doping Agency, a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation Athletes Commission of which she is the only female in the group, and the former President and current board member of the Women's Sports Foundation. She served on the IOC Executive Board, the IOC's Olympic Channel Commission, the 2018 Pyeongchang Coordination Commission, and the 2022 Beijing Coordination Commission. She was the Chief Strategy Officer for the Los Angeles 2024/2028 Candidature Committee, the group organized to help bring the Olympics to Los Angeles in 2028. She was also the chair of the IOC's Athletes' Commission and the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics.[2]

Awards and honorsEdit

Medal record
Women's ice hockey
Representing the   United States
Olympic Games
  1998 Nagano Team competition
  2002 Salt Lake City Team competition
  2010 Vancouver Team competition
  2006 Turin Team competition
World Championships
  2005 Sweden Team competition
  2008 China Team competition
  2009 Finland Team competition
  2011 Switzerland Team competition
  1997 Canada Team competition
  1999 Finland Team competition
  2000 Canada Team competition
  2001 United States Team competition
  2004 Canada Team competition
  2007 Canada Team competition
  • 1998 Olympic gold medalist
  • 2002 Olympic silver medalist
  • 2006 Olympic bronze medalist
  • 2010 Olympic silver medalist
  • Hockey Hall of Fame Honored Member
USA Hockey
four-time Olympian (gold 1998, silver 2002, bronze 2006, silver 2010). Named the tournament's top defensemen twice (2002, 2006). Tied for the lead among tournament defensemen with six points (2-4) in 2006. Youngest member (18) of the team in 1998. Ten-time member of the U.S. Women's National Team at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Championship (gold-2005, 2008–09, 2011; silver-1997, 1999-01, 2004, 2007). Named the tournament's top defenseman four times (2001, 2004–05, 2008). Selected to the media-all star team four times (2004–05, 2007, 2009). Named to the team in 2003, but the event was canceled. Member of the U.S. Women's National Team for the 1996 Pacific Rim Women's Championship (2nd). Seven-time member of the U.S. Women's Select Team for the Four/Three Nations Cup (1st-1997, 2003, 2008; 2nd-2000, 2004–06). Led team with four assists in 2003. Member of the U.S. Women's National Team in 1997-98, 2000–01, 2001-02 (Visa Skate to Salt Lake Tour) and 2005-06 (Hilton Family Skate to 2006 Tour); and the U.S. Women's Select Team in 2008-09. Led team defensemen with 35 points (12-23) in 2001-02. Two-time member of the U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team (1999-00) ... Eleven-time USA Hockey Women's National Festival participant (1997-05, 2008–09).
Played four years at Harvard University of ECAC Hockey. Four-time finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award (Winner-2004, Top Three-2003, Top 10-1999-00) and four-time All-America selection (First Team-199-00, 2003–04). Finished with 253 points (96-157) to rank sixth all-time at Harvard and first among defensemen. As a senior (2003–04): ECACH and Ivy League Player of the Year ... Led team to the ECACH championship and a berth in the NCAA championship game for the second straight year. As a junior (2002–03): top-scoring defenseman in the country (29-54-83) and ranked second in assists per game (1.59). Helped team to the ECACH championship. As a sophomore (1999–2000): tied for 12th in the nation and led all defensemen with 54 points (21-33). As a freshman (1998–99): finished fifth in the ECACH with 51 points (16-35). Led Harvard to the national championship.
  • American Women's College Hockey Alliance All-Americans, First Team (1999)[22]
  • Beanpot MVP (2004)
  • Best Female Hockey Player in the World by The Hockey News (2003)[23]
  • Directorate Award as the Top Defenseman at the Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City (2002)
  • ECAC Player of the Year (2004)
  • 2004 ECAC Tournament Most Valuable Player,[24]
  • ECAC All-Academic Team (2003–2004)
  • Four-time NCAA All-American (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
  • Four-time NCAA All-ECAC (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
  • Harvard Crimson Female Athlete of the Year (2004)
  • Harvard MVP (2001, 2003, 2004)
  • Ivy League Player of the Year (2004)
  • NCAA First Team Academic All-American (2004)
  • NCAA Top VIII award as one of the top 8 student-athletes in the entire NCAA (2004)
  • NCAA National Strength and Conditioning Association Athlete of the Year (2004)
  • New England Sports Writer's Player of the Year (2004)
  • Patty Kazmaier Memorial Trophy winner (2004)
  • Patty Kazmaier Memorial Trophy, Top 3 Finalist (2003)[25]
  • Ranked one of Top 16 Female Athletes in the World by (2004)
  • Ranked #94 on The Hockey News 2011 List of the 100 Most Powerful People in Hockey[26]
  • Ranked #94 for the second consecutive year on The Hockey News 2012 List of the 100 Most Powerful People in Hockey[27]
  • Top Defenseman Award at the Winter Olympics (2002, 2006)
  • Top Defenseman Award at the ESSO Canadian Provincials (2005)
  • Top Defenseman in the World by The Globe and Mail (2003)

She helped the Minnesota Whitecaps to the Western Women's Hockey League championship in 2008-09. She skated part-time for the Whitecaps in 2007-08 and ranked second on the team with 18 points (8-10) in 15 games. She made history on January 28, 2005, when she and her brother, Bill, competed for the Central Hockey League's Tulsa Oilers, becoming the first-ever brother-sister tandem to play in a professional hockey game. She was the first female skater to play in a North American professional hockey game, where she recorded an assist. Ruggiero joined the National Women's Hockey League's Montreal Axion part way through the 2004-05 season.


  1. ^ "Angela Ruggiero to head IOC Athletes' Commission". International Olympic Committee. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Rosen, Karen (25 February 2018). "Angela Ruggiero Steps Off The IOC, Leaving Legacy As Advocate for Athletes, Women And LA 2028". United States Olympic Committee. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Angela Ruggiero". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Hockey Canada - NR.022". Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  5. ^ Michael Farber (February 13, 2006). "C'mon, Canada!: Team USA's Ruggiero upset Canadians running it up". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
  6. ^ The Hockey News, February 8, 2010, Vol. 63, No. 17, "The Women's Game", by Christine Rivet, p.38
  7. ^ "CTV Olympics Store". Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  8. ^ Springer, Shira (January 17, 2010). "Fit for duty". The Boston Globe.
  9. ^ "Olympics 2018". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  10. ^ Shape Magazine, February 2010, p.118, "Simple ways to achieve your get fit goals", Valerie Latona, Editor in Chief
  11. ^ "Olympics 2018". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  12. ^ "ECAC Hockey Mobile". 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2011-05-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Kevin Allen [@ByKevinAllen] (28 December 2011). "U.S. star Angela Ruggiero is retiring. Talked to her this morning. It was a tough emotional decision because she is still an elite player" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "Olympics 2018". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  16. ^[permanent dead link]
  17. ^[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ a b Harry Thompson. "Angela's Excellent Adventures". USA Hockey Magazine. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  19. ^ Brett Hoover. "Angela Ruggiero". Ivy @ 50. Archived from the original on 1 May 2010. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
  20. ^ "Ruggiero to be Inducted into National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame". 6 October 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2012-08-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "American Hockey Coaches Association". 1997-07-08. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  23. ^ Springer, Shira (January 17, 2010). "Fit for duty". The Boston Globe.
  24. ^ "ECAC Hockey Mobile" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  25. ^ [1][dead link]
  26. ^ The Hockey News, Volume 64, Number 14, January 17, 2011, Publisher: Caroline Andrews, Transcontinental Media
  27. ^ The Hockey News, Issue Date: January 16, 2012, Volume 65, Number 14, Senior Editor: Brian Costello, Published by Transcontinental Medial, p. 30

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Karyn Bye (2001)
IIHF World Women's Championships Best Defender
2004, 2005
Succeeded by
Molly Engstrom (2007)
Preceded by
Molly Engstrom (2007)
IIHF World Women's Championships Best Defender
Succeeded by
Jenni Hiirikoski (2009)
Preceded by
Jennifer Botterill (2003)
Patty Kazmaier Award
Succeeded by
Krissy Wendell (2005)