Golden 25 - #22 - U.S. IOC Executive Board Members Ruggiero, DeFrantz

(ATR) It’s never happened before: two IOC members from the U.S. on the EB, both women.

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(ATR) For 2017, the U.S. will have two members on the ruling IOC Executive Board.

In this case the stars align with Anita DeFrantz in the final year of her term that started in 2013. Angela Ruggiero steps up to the EB in 2017 as a result of her election in August as chair of the IOC Athletes Commission.

The two will serve together, as it turns out, in the final months of the candidature for the 2024 Olympics. Both residents of Los Angeles, they are naturally deep into the city’s campaign for 2024. Ruggiero is the chief strategic officer for the bid, DeFrantz the senior IOC member in the U.S.

While they cannot be involved in EB deliberations on matters involving the 2024 bids, DeFrantz and Ruggiero could be important observers of the mood of the IOC and can help fine tune the pitch.

Mention also must be made of Larry Probst, the USOC chairman who’s also now the third IOC member from U.S., yet another important player for the LA bid in IOC circles.

DeFrantz, 64, holds commission seats on Finance, Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Channel. She is seventh in seniority among the 98 members, elected in 1986, and can serve until age 80. She’s a rowing Olympian.

Ruggiero, 36, was elected to the Athletes Commission in 2010 after a medal-winning ice hockey career. Her term on the EB and the IOC will end in 2018.

Rare as a blue moon, the coincidence may be the first time since the reign of IOC President Avery Brundage 50-plus years ago that the EB has held more than one member from the U.S. And never ever before, two women. Brundage would be aghast no matter their U.S. citizenship.

Written by Ed Hula.