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Pilar Roldán

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameMaría del Pilar•Roldán Tapia (-de Gifennig)
Used namePilar•Roldán
Born18 November 1939 in Ciudad de México (Mexico City), Ciudad de México (MEX)
Measurements176 cm / 72 kg
NOC Mexico


Pilar Roldán fenced foil for Mexico at three Olympic Games – 1956, 1960, and 1968. In 1960 she became the first woman to carry the Mexican flag at an Olympic Opening Ceremony. She was twice Pan American Games champion in individual foil, winning in 1959 and 1967. She also competed at the 1959 and 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games, winning four medals, with a silver and three bronzes. Roldán became the first Mexican woman to serve on committees for the FIE (Fédération Internationale d’Escrime).

Roldán was the daughter of tennis playing parents, as Angel Roldán played Davis Cup for Mexico in 1934, and her mother, the former María Tapía, won five medals in tennis at the Central American and Caribbean Games, with three medals, including two golds in singles and mixed doubles in 1935, and in 1954, winning a bronze in doubles and a silver in mixed. She also competed in tennis at the 1955 Pan American Games.

Pilar Roldán also took up tennis and was ranked as high as #3 in Mexico’s junior rankings, before concentrating on fencing. She read the book The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and it inspired an interest in fencing so she took up the sport, asking her parents to get her fencing lessons when she was 13-years-old. To assist her, her father, a surgeon, also started fencing, and he eventually made the 1960 Mexican Olympic team in the sport, although he continued to primarily compete in tennis.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Fencing MEX Pilar Roldán
Foil, Individual, Women (Olympic) 6 p2 r2/3
1960 Summer Olympics Fencing MEX Pilar Roldán
Foil, Individual, Women (Olympic) 7
1968 Summer Olympics Fencing MEX Pilar Roldán
Foil, Individual, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
Foil, Team, Women (Olympic) Mexico =7

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1960 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony MEX Pilar Roldán

Olympic family relations

Special Notes