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Hockey Hall of Famer

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  Angela Marie Ruggiero was born in Panorama City, California, on January 3, 1980. She grew up in Sylmar and then Simi Valley, California. She learned the game back in California and came to Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, in 1994. As a senior at Choate, she became the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team which won the gold medal in Nagano, Japan, in 1998.

  Her collegiate years were spent at Harvard; as a senior she was selected as the Patty Kazmaier Award winner as the top player of women’s collegiate hockey in 2004. She is the only defenseman to win the award. She was a member of the team that won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) National Championship in 1999, and she helped the team to get to runner-up position in 2003 and 2004. Angela graduated cum laude from Harvard in 2004; her degree was in government. While at Harvard she was selected aa a four time All-American and also an Academic All-American. As a senior she was also awarded the NCAA’s Top VIII Award for success as an athlete and in the classroom, and in the community. Ruggiero was the MVP for three seasons at Harvard. She was selected by The Hockey News as the best NCAA woman player and also the best in the world.

  She was selected to play for the professional men’s team the Tulsa Oilers in the Central Hockey League on January 28, 2005, as the first woman to play for a men’s team for a position other than goalie. Her brother, Bill, was a goalie for the Oilers, and that led them to become the first brother-sister to play together in professional hockey. As she recorded an assist during the game, she is the only woman to score a point in North American professional hockey.

  Her Olympic record is a gold medal in 1998, two silvers in 2002 and 2010 and a bronze in 2006. Angela competed in 10 World Championships and won four gold medals and six silver medals with Team USA. She was named Best Defenseman twice in the Olympics and four times in the World Championships.

  Ruggiero was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame on June 29, 2015, and inducted on November 9, 2015, as the fourth woman to receive that honor, and the second American women to receive that honor. She is the all-time leader in games played for Team USA, male or female, with 256 games. She played women’s professional hockey for the Boston Blades in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and the Minnesota Whitecaps in the Western Women’s Hockey League.

  She authored a memoir of her hockey days, “Breaking the Ice: My Journey to Olympic Hockey, the Ivy League & Beyond,” that was published by Drummond Publishing Group in 2005. The book features the challenges about playing hockey as a woman and includes her experiences with misconceptions about women’s hockey in a male-dominated sport. She appeared on the TV show “The Apprentice” on March 25, 2007.

  Ruggiero received a BA cum laude from Harvard, then an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She added a Master of Education from the University of Minnesota with a 4.0 GPA in Sports Management.

  After hockey, Angela cofounded the Sports Innovation Lab, a market research firm, a technically powered company that empowers sports brands to identify trends, products and services that will drive the future of sports. Her firm currently has over 70 clients and includes a team of analysts and strategists who consult with the clients. Before that she was a Senior Management Associate with Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world.

  She has appeared as a keynote and motivational speaker for businesses, schools and organizations, including the United Nations, the International Olympic Committee, KPMG, Coca-Cola. She has also written columns for many newspapers, including The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Detroit Free Press, Hartford Courant, Hockey Weekly, The Detroit News, Chicago Tribune and USA Today. She also, in her spare time, does a podcast, “The Fluid Fan,” for Spots Innovation Lab. Ruggiero has a history of volunteer experience, including the New York Islanders’ Project Hope and the Islanders Children’s Foundation.

  The world awaits the next move of one of the most gifted athletes and scholars and expects that Angela Ruggiero will contribute her unique status to the world.

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