March 26th, 2014 Add comment

Q&A;: Nic Roldán

Model and polo player, he was born in Argentina and at a young age went to live in America. An interview with one of the best known polo players in the world

Q&A: Nic Roldán

Nic Roldan. (Photo: Juan Lamarca)

Nicolás Roldán was born in Buenos Aires just over 31 years ago. His father Raúl continues to play polo, ever since those days. His first steps, literally, and not only in the world of sports, were on North American soil.

Nowadays, despìte really having settled down in America, and without any plans for a definite return to his homeland, this polo player and model, who nobody refers to as Nicolás, but instead as Nic, mentions, in perfect Spanish language, how his life has been: from Cambiaso, to his tattoos, Nic talked about everything in his recent interview with Your name and birthplace refer to your being an Argentinian, but you have been living in the United States since a long time ago. How’s this?

Nic Roldán: "When I was born, my parents were already living in the United States, but my Dad was playing polo Argentina, I think with Eduardo Moore, and so I was born over there (in Argentina). Two months later we returned to Palm Beach and we remained here. We used to travel each year to Argentina, but we were living here".

LP: ¿Do you have any relatives in Argentina?

Nic Roldán: "Yes, I’ve some uncles and aunts, my grandmother and a lot of cousins".

LP: ¿And where do you reside in the United States?

Nic Roldán: "In Wellington. That’s where my base is, also my house and my farm".

LP: When you are asked if you are an Argentinian or American, what do you respond?

Nic Roldán: "I say I’m an American. We’ve been here since such a long time ago… English is my first language, I speak Spanish well but sometimes I find it a bit difficult. In all the tournaments in which I played for a country, I’ve played for the United States. And I even have a bit of German! (laughing)"

LP: And when the question is referred to whether you are a polo player or a model?

Nic Roldán: "I’m a polo player. I’m always going to be a polo player. The subject of modeling is good fun but it’s not a question of my seeking work there.  If there is a chance, fantastic, and if not, no problem. I shall always continue being an athlete and a polo player".

LP: Talking about this, how do you find time to be a polo player and a model?

Nic Roldán: "To be a polo player was always my first aim in life, and that will remain so. The modeling came about through one of the sponsors… I worked with Piaget four years ago and that’s where it all started.  Later on I was contacted by important people from the modeling world and that is where the doors opened for future jobs, and from there it continued".

LP: When considering polo and modeling, the image of Ignacio Figueras surges. How do you get on with him?

Nic Roldán: "I get along very well with Nacho, and what he has gone ahead with is impressive. Apart from being  a very nice guy and a very good polo player, what he’s done for Lauren and in what refers to promoting polo is terrific.  I admire him and I respect him, and what he continues doing for polo is impressive. And whatever I can do to help polo I want to continue doing so, promoting polo, the sport and its image".

LP: You are nowadays playing at Grand Champions, what are your other plans for this year?

Nic Roldán: "I’ve got some work with Marc and Melissa Ganzi, they are the patrons of the Audi and the Flight Options teams, for all this year, so all the time that they play polo, in 20 or 26 goal tournaments, I’ll be playing. Later on I’ll be going to play the high-handicap season in England, then I return to play with them again (the Ganzis, that is) in July and August at Aspen, and in Autumn in Florida".

LP: Will you be visiting Argentina this year?

Nic Roldán: "This year I don’t think so because we’ll be finishing very late, but I’d love to be able to return and play over there, more than anything the qualifying tournament and the Open. I’ve already played the “Cámara” (Copa Cámara de Diputados) and what I’d find good fun now is to be able to get organized again and play in the Qualifying or the Open. I think the dream of any polo player is to play at Palermo or any tournament at that level. More so as an American, which means it’s a bit tougher. But it’s always in my plans and I’m going to do it any time now".

LP: Apart from the big tournaments in the United States, how do you see the development of polo over there?

Nic Roldán: "The sport has grown very much in the last five years. For example, in what refers to the publicity: many television channels have contacted me, to do TV series o films and those are things that prove that polo is growing and that the people are more enthusiastic about the sport. Here in Palm Beach we have the country’s leading tournaments, but polo is growing in all parts, such as New York and California. Polo is nowadays played in all parts, even in China. The sport is growing very much. Due to the recent economic climate there were two or three years in which everything was a bit low tone, but it’s now recuperating. All that I can do for the sport, the same as all that Nacho (Figueras) does, promotion-wise, I shall do. From the actual sport’s point of view, Cambiaso is the best player in the world, and what he’s done is impressive.

Polo is beginning to be quite an important sport. I’m not sure whether it’ll become as important as American football  or soccer or baseball, but it’s growing very much and people like it and they enjoy it. They are fascinated by watching a new sport, the horses, and the show".

LP: Does social media contribute to such a purpose?

Nic Roldán: "We’re living in the world of social media. Everyone has an account in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s a good way of transmitting the world of polo to the public and the world. It allows us an open door to many people who probably don’t know much about the sport, or who have never watched it being played, or don’t live it, and then they find out about it and they find it interesting". 

LP: In your case, what do you think of other sports?

Nic Roldán: "All sports fascínate me. I really like American football, basketball also. I play a lot of golf and tennis, but I like all sports. I’m always outdoors doing some sport".

LP: Your biography refers to your having several tattoos. Is that so?

Nic Roldán: "I have quite a few, and I’d like to have a few more. I’ve always liked them, since I was 16, when I had the first one done. I have seven of them".

LP: To bring this interview to a close, which has been your major achievement so far, and which is your aim prior to retiring from polo?

Nic Roldán: "The biggest achievement is to have won the Open (of the United States) when I was 15 years old. That was the starting point of my career. To win the Cámara (Copa Cámara de Diputados in 2006, playing for La Dolfina Show Mach with Christian Laprida, Matías Magrini and Mariano González) was exciting and also good fun because it was out of the U.S.A. My dream has always been to win the Argentine Open, something that is obviously a little bit tougher. To win it or at least compete in it. This will always an objective for me. I also want to win the United States Open again, and now I’ll see about looking more towards England, to see if I can win the Queen’s Cup of the Gold Cup over there".

David Cattaneo,

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