Tuesday 24 September 2019

Body found in search for missing Spanish Olympian

Blanca Fernandez Ochoa won a bronze medal skiing for Spain in the 1992 Winter Games.

Spanish skier Blanca Fernandez Ochoa (Dieter Endlicher/AP)
Spanish skier Blanca Fernandez Ochoa (Dieter Endlicher/AP)

By Aritz Parra, Associated Press

Spanish police have found the body of former alpine ski racer and Olympic medallist Blanca Fernandez Ochoa in a mountainous area near Madrid after days of searching for her.

Police said a tracking dog came across a woman’s body near a peak in the forested area.

Unidentified police sources told Spanish private news agency Europa Press the body was the 56-year-old’s, Spain’s first female Winter Olympics medallist.

She won a bronze medal skiing for Spain in the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville.

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A civil guard leads volunteers searching in woodland area in Cercedilla, just outside of Madrid (Paul White/AP)

Friends of her family at the scene confirmed the identification of her body to public broadcaster TVE, and politicians tweeted condolences.

Police declined to confirm the identification to the Associated Press, saying formal procedures had to be followed before an official announcement was made.

Fernandez was last spotted on surveillance video at a shopping centre on August 24.

More than 200 police officers on foot and horseback, firefighters, forest rangers and hundreds of volunteers had combed the steep pine-forested area for days looking for Fernandez.

PA Media

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