American International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Angela Ruggiero has been elected to Chair the organization’s Athletes Commission – a role that also earns her a coveted spot on the IOC Executive Board.
She replaces outgoing Chair Claudia Bokel, a German Olympic fencer who will complete her four-year term at the end of the Rio Games.
Ruggiero, the women’s Olympic ice hockey champion who has been serving as Vice Chair on the Commission, is also working as Chief Strategy Officer of the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid. Her duties there include ensuring that the needs of the Olympic movement are met, but with her new role on the Executive Board she will become a key influencer for LA 2024 within the IOC.
She joins fellow American Anita DeFrantz on the most powerful Executive Board in sport.
IOC President Thomas Bach extended his congratulations to Ruggiero adding “I am sure that, with her determination and her great experience, she will make a huge contribution.”
“The EB will be very happy to engage with her and all the members of the Athletes’ Commission for the sake of all the athletes.”
Ruggiero said “I am grateful for the trust my fellow IOC Athletes’ Commission members have put in me and my work.”
“It is an important time within the Olympic Movement and our Commission has a great responsibility. I will make sure our voices aren’t just heard, but that they are effective and that we empower athletes around the world to do the same.”
French Olympic Canoe Champion Tony Estanguet was elected as Vice Chair of the same commission. Estanguet, also co-Chair for the Paris 2024 Olympic bid – will report to Ruggiero.
Both Paris and Los Angeles are widely considered front runners in the 2024 Olympic bid race that also includes Budapest and Rome. Though rivals competing to win the right to host the Games for their nations, Ruggiero and Estanguet need to work closely and cooperatively on the Athletes Commission during this critical time following Russian state-sponsored doping allegations that threaten clean athletes.
The election to determine the Olympic bid winner will take place in Lima, Peru in September, 2017.