The body of former Spanish alpine skier, Blanca Fernández Ochoa has been found after days of searches involving hundreds of police and volunteers.
The remains of the 56-year-old Ochoa who had been missing since August 23 were discovered by a tracking dog in a mountainous area near Madrid. Authorities in the country are now investigating the cause of her death.
Ochoa was the first Spanish woman to win a medal at the Winter Olympics, capturing bronze in Albertville, France in 1992.
After her career came to an end, she took part in reality TV productions such as Celebrity Island and a trampoline-jumping show.
The late skier’s daughter, Olivia Fresneda had reported her mother’s disappearance in late August. On September 1, a black Mercedes car which Ochoa had last been seen driving was located near a village north-west of Madrid.
According to the Spanish Police, the former skier who was a keen and devoted hiker had left home without her cellular phone and had not used her credit cards since she went missing.
They added that they believed that the ex-skier had been dead for between seven and 10 days.
Although a post mortem examination was being carried out, reports said there were no obvious signs that she had been hurt in a fall as her body was found some 20 metres from a path which is about 90 minutes walk from where she had parked her car, at the foot of a hiking trail near the village of Cercedilla.
According to the witness, Blanca Fernández Ochoa told him that she was going hiking up the mountain even though she did not have a backpack. Spanish media reported that before leaving she kissed her brother’s statue.
Born in Madrid in 1963, Ochoa took part in four Winter Olympics between 1980 and 1992.
“It is a very sad day for Spanish sports,” María José Rienda, Spain’s Secretary of State for Sports said. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has also conveyed his solidarity and love to her family.