By Karolos Grohmann
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Former Olympic ice hockey champion Angela Ruggiero will head the International Olympic Committee's athletes' commission after the end of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, taking over from Germany's Claudia Bokel, the IOC said on Monday.
Ruggiero will be in charge of the commission that is seen as a vital link between the IOC and the athletes' interest and will automatically become a member of the powerful IOC Executive Board.
The American, an IOC member since 2010, won a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics, collecting silver medals in 2002 and 2010 and bronze in 2006. She was inducted into the hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.
"The Executive Board will be very happy to engage with her and all the members of the Athletes’ Commission for the sake of all the athletes," IOC President Thomas Bach said.
Ruggiero is also the chief strategy officer for the Los Angeles Olympics bid for the 2024 Games.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Alison Williams)