By Tom Degun

Angela Ruggiero_in_publicity_shot_for_The_ApprenticeMarch 18 - Four-time Olympic medallist Angela Ruggiero (pictured) of the United States admits that she is delighted to be part the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics with the 11-member team set to make their first visit to the Korean city this week.

Pyeongchang were awarded the 2018 Games last year after they trounced rivals Munich in Germany and the French city of Annecy in first round voting at the IOC Session in Durban, South Africa.

The Commission, which will be chaired by Sweden's Gunilla Lindberg, will be shown early preparations for the competition and given a number of presentations by Jin-Sun Kim (pictured below, second left), the head of Pyeongchang's new Organising Committee and a former Governor of Gangwon Province.

The visit will be Ruggiero's first as part of an IOC Coordination Commission after the retired ice hockey player was nominated by her fellow sportsmen and women, along with British bob skeleton rider Adam Pengilly, as one of the 12 elected members on the IOC's Athlete's Commission during Vancouver 2010.

"I was part of the 2018 Evaluation Commission where I got see all the bids for the Games and that was a great experience for me," Ruggiero told insidethegames.

"So it will be really special to see the Pyeongchang bid change and go through the step-by-step process of organising for the 2018 Winter Games.

"As an athlete, you just show up.

"You are there for a few weeks and you feel that it is amazing to compete at an Olympics.

Jin-Sun Kim_March_18
"But you don't realise the years that go into the preparations and all of the people and the budget that goes into making it happen.

"I think that is a good thing though because if you were worrying about that as an athlete, then you wouldn't be focusing on your sport."

It marks a busy month for the 32-year-old from California, who was recently appointed as chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics and Paralympics in Lillehammer.

But the Harvard University graduate, who is also a three-time world champion in ice hockey, said that she hopes the Commission's work goes unnoticed as it will mean that they will be performing their work successfully.

"The fact is that the Organising Committee and the IOC do a great job in ensuring that the athletes have nothing else to concern themselves with except sport," said Ruggiero, a former contestant on the television show The Apprentice.

"It is kind of like with ice hockey; if you don't notice the referee, they are probably doing a good job!

"So it is great to be involved and great for me to have a chance to see the whole backstory that goes into the event."

To read the full insidethegames interview with Angela Ruggiero, click here

Contact the writer of this stroy at [email protected]

Related stories
March 2012: Ruggiero to chair Lillehammer 2016 IOC Coordination Commission
December 2011: Ruggiero retires from ice hockey to concentrate on role as IOC member
August 2011: Lindberg appointed to head IOC Coordination Commission for Pyeongchang 2018
February 2010: Pengilly and Ruggiero elected as members of IOC