The Most Famous

ATHLETES from Mexico

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This page contains a list of the greatest Mexican Athletes. The pantheon dataset contains 6,025 Athletes, 24 of which were born in Mexico. This makes Mexico the birth place of the 41st most number of Athletes behind Nigeria, and Denmark.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Mexican Athletes of all time. This list of famous Mexican Athletes is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Mexican Athletes.

Photo of Ricardo Delgado

1. Ricardo Delgado (b. 1947)

With an HPI of 46.03, Ricardo Delgado is the most famous Mexican Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages on wikipedia.

Ricardo Delgado Nogales (born 13 July 1947) is a Mexican former professional boxer who competed from 1968 to 1975. As an amateur, he won a gold medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City in the flyweight division (−51 kg). Delgado turned pro in 1968 and had limited success. After being undefeated in his first ten fights, he lost a decision to Davey Vasquez in 1971, a bout in which Delgado was knocked down once in the 5th and 6th rounds. Delgado's career went downhill after the loss and he retired four years later with a career record of having won 14, lost 12, and drawn 5.

Photo of Enriqueta Basilio

2. Enriqueta Basilio (1948 - 2019)

With an HPI of 45.81, Enriqueta Basilio is the 2nd most famous Mexican Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Norma Enriqueta "Queta" Basilio Sotelo (15 July 1948 – 26 October 2019) was a Mexican track and field athlete. She was born in Mexicali, capital of Baja California. She came from an athletic family; her father was a cotton farmer. Her Polish coach, Włodzimierz Puzio, moved her from high jumping to hurdling. She made history by becoming the first woman to light the Olympic Cauldron. She was the last torch-bearer of the 19th Summer Olympics in Mexico City on 12 October 1968.She was a national athletics champion and record-holder in 80 metres hurdles and finished seventh in this event at the 1967 Pan American Games. At the 1968 Olympics she was eliminated in the heats of the 400 metres, 80 metres hurdles and 4 × 100 metres relay events. In 1970, she took bronze in the Central American and Caribbean Games 4 × 100 m relay.She married the basketball player Mario Álvarez, who was later secretary to the Oaxaca state governor. She was widowed with three young children when he died in an aeroplane accident. She studied sociology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and became a federal deputy for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) during the LVIII Legislature of the Mexican Congress.She became a permanent member of the Mexico Olympic Committee and was part of the 2004 Olympic torch relay when it was passing through Mexico City. In 2014, she was amongst 6,500 people defrauded of their savings in a money-lending business scam. She died of pneumonia on 26 October 2019, aged 71.On 15 October 2020, the small moon of trojan asteroid 3548 Eurybates was named Queta after her, making her the first Olympic athlete honored in this way.

Photo of Joaquín Capilla

3. Joaquín Capilla (1928 - 2010)

With an HPI of 44.14, Joaquín Capilla is the 3rd most famous Mexican Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Joaquín Capilla Pérez (December 23, 1928 – May 8, 2010), was a Mexican diver who won the largest number of Olympic medals among Mexican athletes. Together with his elder brother Alberto he competed in the 3 m springboard and 10 m platform at the 1948, 1952 and 1956 Olympics and won one gold, one silver and two bronze medals, finishing fourth in the two remaining competitions. He also won four medals at the Pan American Games, in 1951 and 1955. After retiring from competitions Capilla descended into poverty, chain smoking and alcoholism, eventually losing his family and home. He recovered owing to religion and later earned a degree in theology. In 2009 he was awarded the National Sports Award. He died the next year in 2010 as a result of cardiac arrest, at the age of 81.

Photo of Humberto Mariles

4. Humberto Mariles (1913 - 1972)

With an HPI of 44.06, Humberto Mariles is the 4th most famous Mexican Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Humberto Mariles Cortés (June 13, 1913 – December 7, 1972) was a Mexican equestrian who competed at the 1948, 1952 and 1956 Olympics. He won both individual and team show jumping events in 1948, and placed sixth-ninth in 1956. In 1952 he finished 12th in the individual three-day eventing and won a bronze medal with the team.At the Pan American Games Mariles won a team gold medal in show jumping in 1955. In 1964 he shot a driver who forced his car off the road. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but was released by presidential pardon after five years. In 1972 he was arrested in Paris for drug smuggling, and died in prison before the trial.

Photo of Ernesto Canto

5. Ernesto Canto (1959 - 2020)

With an HPI of 43.49, Ernesto Canto is the 5th most famous Mexican Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Ernesto Canto Gudiño (18 October 1959 – 20 November 2020) was a Mexican race walker who mainly competed in the 20 kilometer walk. He competed for Mexico at the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, United States, where he won the gold medal in the men's 20 kilometer walk event. Canto died in 2020 at the age of 61 from pancreatic and liver cancer.

Photo of Raúl González

6. Raúl González (b. 1952)

With an HPI of 42.56, Raúl González is the 6th most famous Mexican Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Raúl González Rodríguez (born February 29, 1952) is a Mexican former race walker.

Photo of Pilar Roldán

7. Pilar Roldán (b. 1939)

With an HPI of 38.93, Pilar Roldán is the 7th most famous Mexican Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

María del Pilar Roldán Tapia (born 18 November 1939 in Mexico City) is a Mexican former foil fencer and the first Mexican woman to win an olympic medal in the history of Olympic fencing. During the 1968 Mexican Olympic Games she was a silver medalist; she was a champion in singles. She competed for Mexico at the 1968 Summer Olympics held in Mexico City, Mexico, where she won the silver medal in the women's foil event.

Photo of Carlos Girón

8. Carlos Girón (1954 - 2020)

With an HPI of 38.28, Carlos Girón is the 8th most famous Mexican Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Carlos Armando Girón Gutiérrez (3 November 1954 — 13 January 2020) was a Mexican diver. He competed in four consecutive Summer Olympics, winning one medal. At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, he finished ninth in the 3 metre springboard event and eighth in the 10 metre platform event. In 1976 he repeated the position in the platform diving while advancing to a seventh place in the springboard. At the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, USSR he finally won a silver medal in 3 metre springboard, and came close to another medal with a fourth place in the 10 metre platform. His final Olympic performance came in 1984 where he placed twelfth. On 13 January 2020, Girón died from pneumonia at age 65.

Photo of Ana Guevara

9. Ana Guevara (b. 1977)

With an HPI of 34.92, Ana Guevara is the 9th most famous Mexican Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Ana Gabriela Guevara Espinoza (born March 4, 1977) is a Mexican former track and field athlete who specialized in the 400 meters and is the 7th fastest female 300-meter runner in the world, running 300 meters in 35.3 seconds on May 3, 2003. She served as a Mexican Senator for the 2012–2018 term.

Photo of Jaime Ordiales

10. Jaime Ordiales (b. 1963)

With an HPI of 34.64, Jaime Ordiales is the 10th most famous Mexican Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

José Jaime Ordiales Domínguez (born 23 December 1963) is a Mexican former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He was a member of the Mexico national team at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and played two games at the tournament at age 35.He was named as manager of Tecos UAG in January 2008. He was fired on 9 March 2008 and replaced by José Luis Trejo. In July 2008, Ordiales became the Sports Director of Club América from Mexico. He served as the coach of 2nd division team Club de Fútbol Correcaminos de la Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas. In 2020, he was named the president of CD Cruz Azul.

People

Pantheon has 28 people classified as Mexican athletes born between 1913 and 1997. Of these 28, 21 (75.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Mexican athletes include Ricardo Delgado, Raúl González, and Pilar Roldán. The most famous deceased Mexican athletes include Enriqueta Basilio, Joaquín Capilla, and Humberto Mariles. As of April 2024, 4 new Mexican athletes have been added to Pantheon including Pilar Roldán, Carlos Girón, and Jaime Ordiales.

Living Mexican Athletes

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Deceased Mexican Athletes

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Newly Added Mexican Athletes (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Athletes were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 7 most globally memorable Athletes since 1700.