Angela Marie Ruggiero (born January 3, 1980) is an American ice hockey defenseman. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee and was a member of the United States women's national ice hockey team, medaling in four successive Winter Olympic Games. She also authored a memoir about her hockey experiences and was a contestant on the NBC reality show The Apprentice. She announced her retirement from USA's national hockey team on December 28, 2011 and is currently a student at Harvard Business School.
Ruggiero played prep school hockey at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. 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. She graduated from Harvard cum laude in 2004 with a degree in government.
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 the United States at a position other than goalie. In addition, since her brother Bill Ruggiero also played for the Oilers, they were the first brother-sister combination to play professionally at the same time.
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 Defenceman for Group A.
While representing the United States in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, Ruggiero was widely quoted for comments she made to the Sports Illustratedwebsite 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."  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.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. 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.
On January 14, 2010, she was named as an alternate captain for the United States Olympic hockey team. 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. 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. During the 2010–11 Boston Blades season, Ruggiero scored the game-winning goal on December 19, 2010, which snapped the Montreal Stars undefeated season.
On December 28, 2011, her retirement was announced via Twitter.
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 willing to pay the entry fee, she was advised that only men could participate at the rink. 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.
She graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government. 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.
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.Angela is now enrolled at the University of Minnesota and is pursuing a master's degree in sports management. The objective was to implement a sporting program for children. 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. EA Sports officially announced that Ruggiero will be among two of the first female hockey "Legends" in their upcoming game NHL 13. Along with Hayley Wickenheiser, she will have a playable character in the game and can be added to any team of the user's choice. Ruggiero has committed to serve as a member of the IIHF Athletes Committee from 2013-16. Of note, she is the only female that is part of the group.
- 1998 Olympic gold medalist
- 2002 Olympic silver medalist
- 2006 Olympic bronze medalist
- 2010 Olympic silver medalist
- USA Hockey
- Four-time Olympian (gold-1998, silver-2002, bronze-2006). 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 ... Nine-time member of the U.S. Women's National Team at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Championship (gold-2005, 2008–09; 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 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)
- Beanpot MVP (2004)
- Best Female Hockey Player in the World by The Hockey News (2003)
- 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,
- ECAC All-Academic Team (2003–2004)
- Four-time NCAA All-American
- Four-time NCAA All-ECAC
- Harvard Crimson Female Athlete of the Year (2004)
- Harvard MVP (2004, 2003, 2001)
- 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)
- Ranked one of Top 16 Female Athletes in the World by ESPN.com (2004)
- Ranked #94 on The Hockey News 2011 List of the 100 Most Powerful People in Hockey
- Ranked #94 for the second consecutive year on The Hockey News 2012 List of the 100 Most Powerful People in Hockey
- Top Defenseman Award at the Winter Olympics (2006, 2002)
- Top Defenseman Award at the ESSO Canadian Provincials (2005)
- Top Defenseman in the World by 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 oined the National Women's Hockey League's Montreal Axion part way through the 2004-05 season.