Angela M. Ruggiero ’02-’04: Three-Time U.S. Ice Hockey Olympics Medallist

Ruggiero plays defense for U.S. women's ice hockey in Vancouver

Angela Ruggiero
Timothy M. McDonald

Angela M. Ruggiero ’02-’04,the youngest player to make the U.S. National Ice Hockey Team at 15, speaks at a post-game press conference after losing to the Minnesota Gophers 6-2 in the 2002 NCAA Championship. Ruggiero is playing for the U.S. Olympic Team in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Angela M. Ruggiero ’02-’04 has medalled in three previous Winter Olympics, worked in commercial real estate, written an autobiography, been fired by Donald Trump on the television show “The Apprentice,” and later turned down a subsequent job offer from Trump.

Now Ruggiero—the youngest player to make the U.S. National Ice Hockey Team at 15—once again joins her teammates in Vancouver for her fourth Olympics, playing defense on the American women’s ice hockey team.

The Los Angeles native had already won a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics when she came to play hockey for Harvard.

During her undergraduate career, Ruggiero constantly impressed her teammates, and her coach Katey Stone recalled that Ruggiero had the “total package.”

“She has the speed of a smaller player” said Brian Schulz ’01, a broadcaster for U.S. College Hockey Online who first saw Ruggiero play during her freshman year.

Former teammate Angela Franciso Flygh ’01 remembers Ruggiero’s extreme strength, stating that Ruggiero once hit the puck at practice so hard that it broke part of Flygh’s skate.

“The toe part is very sturdy,” Flygh said of the skate.

Although she was always serious during practices and games, Flygh said Ruggiero was “a complete goofball” who was fond of playing pranks off the ice.

Ruggiero was named NCAA First Team Academic All-American in 2004 and graduated cum laude in government. The Hockey News also voted her best Female Hockey Player in the World in 2003.

Ruggiero won a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics and brought home the bronze from Torino in 2006.

Today, Ruggiero and two of her fellow Harvard alumni are competing in the semi-final game against Sweden. In the other women’s semi-final, two Harvard graduates will represent Canada in a game against Finland, leaving open the possibility that all five Harvard graduates will compete for the gold on Thursday.

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