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US NewsOlympic skiing legend found dead after massive search in Spanish mountains

03:15  05 september  2019
03:15  05 september  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Eleven days after Blanca Fernández Ochoa, an Olympic skiing bronze medalist in 1992, went missing in the mountains near Madrid, triggering a search by hundreds of officials and volunteers who combed the pine-forested area for days, her body was found Wednesday. Fernández, 56, had been reported

The former alpine skier , and the first Spanish woman to win a medal at the winter games, was first Spain ’s Civil Guard said the body of a woman had been found in the La Penota area of the ‘The emergency services and numerous volunteers have got involved in the search for Blanca Fernandez

Olympic skiing legend found dead after massive search in Spanish mountains © Paul White/AP Volunteers and officials combed the mountainous area near Madrid on Tuesday, looking for Blanca Fernández Ochoa. (Paul White/Associated Press)

Eleven days after Blanca Fernández Ochoa, an Olympic skiing bronze medalist in 1992, went missing in the mountains near Madrid, triggering a search by hundreds of officials and volunteers who combed the pine-forested area for days, her body was found Wednesday.

Olympic skiing legend found dead after massive search in Spanish mountains © 2019 Europa Press MADRID, SPAIN - UNDATED: In this undated photograph, the Olympic skier and medalist Blanca Fernández Ochoa (1st R) poses with fellow skiers in Madrid, Spain. Fernández Ochoa was found dead after going missing for twelve days. (Photo by Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Fernández, 56, was reported missing Aug. 24. The disappearance of Spain’s first female medalist in the Winter Olympics set off a search by more than 200 police officers on foot and on horses, forest rangers and hundreds of volunteers. The Policia Nacional on Wednesday tweeted condolences to family and friends and sent “a million thanks” to the volunteers who helped with the search.

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Spanish police found the body of former alpine ski racer and Olympic medalist Blanca Fernández She won a bronze skiing for Spain in the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville and became a household name. But the search was called off after the discovery of the body. Fernández was last spotted on

Missing Olympic skier found dead in Spanish mountains . Spain ’s Civil Guard said the body of a woman had been found in the La Penota area of the ‘The emergency services and numerous volunteers have got involved in the search for Blanca Fernandez Ochoa but it wasn’t meant to be.

Fernández reportedly often liked to take long hikes in the mountains, and so no one gave it much of a thought when she told her daughter, Olivia Fresneda, that she was going out Aug. 23. She was last spotted on surveillance video at a shopping mall Aug. 24.

Olympic skiing legend found dead after massive search in Spanish mountains © 2019 Europa Press MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 27: The Olympic skier and medalist Blanca Fernández Ochoa is seen supporting Foundation También for disabled on February 27, 2007 in Madrid, Spain. Fernández Ochoa was found dead after been missing for twelve days. (Photo by Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images)

She had not taken her cellphone, however, and family members grew concerned when they lost contact with her. Their worry grew when her Mercedes was found Sept. 1 parked at a popular hiking spot in Cercedilla in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, about an hour northwest of Madrid. In it were her driver’s license and 15 euros. “I think she must have gone to the family´s favorite area,” her sister, Dolores, said this week. “I am sure she decided to go there and something has happened to her. I can’t think of any other explanation. We are extremely sad but we wanted to thank you all for the big effort you are doing in finding Blanca."

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Olympic medalist Blanca Fernandez Ochoa has been found dead , Spain 's acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday, following a long search after the Fernandez Ochoa, 56, had last been seen in the district of Aravaca in Madrid, while her car was found on Sunday in the town of Cercedilla.

MADRID (Reuters) - Olympic medallist Blanca Fernandez Ochoa has been found dead , Spain ’s acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday, following a long search after the former alpine skier was reported missing on Aug.23. Spain ’s Civil Guard said the body of a woman had been

In the days since her disappearance, her family, with son, David, reportedly joining the search, had congregated in the mountains, hoping that Fernández would be found safe.

Olympic skiing legend found dead after massive search in Spanish mountains © 1984 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina - 1984: Blanca Fernández Ochoa competing in the Women's skiing event at the 1984 Winter Olympics / XIV Olympic Winter Games, Jahorina. (Photo by ABC via Getty Images)

Fernández, who won a bronze medal in Alpine skiing at the Games in Albertville, France, was one of five siblings who competed at the Olympics for the Spanish ski team. Her late brother, Francisco Fernández Ochoa, was the first Spaniard to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics, winning the slalom in 1972 in Sapporo.

In a 2014 interview with El Pais, Fernández said she had become more interested in golf than skiing since retiring.

“I ended up burned [out] with skiing,” she said. “What I really like is golf.”

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Olympic skiing legend found dead after massive search in Spanish mountains © 2019 Europa Press MADRID, SPAIN - UNDATED: The Olympic skier and medalist Blanca Fernández Ochoa (L) is seen with his brother Paco Fernández Ochoa (C) in Madrid, Spain. Fernández Ochoa was found dead after been missing for twelve days. (Photo by Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images) on February 22, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Both of her children were more interested in rugby, with her daughter a standout on the national team.

News about Fernández’s death brought reactions from NBA star Pau Gasol, the Real Madrid organization, Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz and others who praised her as a legend of Spanish sports.


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