Ruggiero to chair Lillehammer 2016 IOC Coordination Commission
Friday, 09 March 2012
March 9 - Four-time Olympic medallist Angela Ruggiero (pictured) of the United States has been named as the chair for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer.
The 32-year-old from California is one of the rising stars in the IOC and retired from ice hockey at the end of last year to concentrate on her work in sports administration after 16 years in the sport.
The Harvard University graduate was just 18 when she won Olympic gold with the US team in 1998 - when women's ice hockey made its debut on the Games programme in Nagano - and she followed it up by claiming Olympic silver at Salt Lake City in 2002, bronze at Turin in 2006 and silver again at Vancouver in 2010.
The former defenceman is also a four-time ice hockey world champion and finished her career having recorded 208 points for the US team, including 67 goals and 141 assists.
Ruggiero was in Innsbruck in January for the inaugural edition of the Winter Youth Olympics in the Austrian city, where she praised the concept of the competition, which is credited as being the brainchild of IOC President Jacques Rogge.
"For me, the Youth Olympics is a great event and a great addition to the Olympics," she told insidethegames.
"I think a lot of the young athletes that will compete and then be inspired to work harder to go on to the Olympics.
"But I think the real goal of the event is just to participate and to be part of the Olympics.
"A big part of the event is the Cultural and Education Programme that helps young people learn about Olympism and Olympic values so that they can take them back to their respective countries.
"So I think it has all the right elements become a huge success going forward."
The announcement marks Ruggiero's growing prominence in the IOC after she was nominated by her fellow sportsmen and women, along with British bob skeleton rider Adam Pengilly (pictured right with IOC President Jacques Rogge and Ruggiero), as one of the 12 elected members on the IOC's Athlete's Commission during Vancouver 2010.
Last August, Ruggiero was appointed as a member of the IOC's Coordination Commission that will be overseeing preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang, while she is also on the IOC Entourage Commission.
Ruggiero is joined on the Lillehammer 2016 IOC Coordination Commission by seven members, including Pengilly.
Austria's Peter Bayer, the chief executive of the Innsbruck 2012, is also included along with International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian-Franco Kasper of Switzerland, who was chair of the Coordination Commission for the 2012 Youth Olympics.
René Fasel, the Swiss President of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and an IOC Executive Board member, is another member of the Coordination Commission along with German Bernhard Schwank (pictured), the chief executive of the Munich's unsuccessful bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
IOC members Yang Yang of China and Ottavio Cinquanta from Italy are the final two members.
As with all IOC Coordination Commissions, the director in charge will be the Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli.
February 2012: Exclusive - Lillehammer 2016 promise to bring own identity to Winter Youth Olympics
January 2012: Businesswoman appointed head of Lillehammer 2016
December 2011: Lillehammer awarded 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games