In the late 50s, Barbara Roles was a perennial runner-up to Carol Heiss at the U.S. national championships. After her bronze medal performance in the 1960 Olympics she retired and was soon to become Mrs. Barbara Pursley. After the 1961 airplane crash which killed the American figure skating team, Barbara Roles Pursley came out of retirement – both to give the U.S. an experienced competitor at the 1962 Worlds and to act as a stabilizing influence on the young skaters who were thrust into international competition at an earlier age than they normally would have been. In that year she won the U.S. title and finished third at the World Championships. Barbara Roles Pursley later skated with the Ice Capades for a short time. She eventually divorced and has become a well-known coach under the name Roles, numbering among her pupils Lisa-Marie Allen and 1983 World Champion Rosalynn Sumners.