Spanish Olympic skier Blanca Fernandez Ochoa, 56, found dead in mountains near Madrid

The body of Spanish Olympic alpine skier Blanca Fernandez Ochoa was found in the mountains near Madrid two weeks after she was last seen alive in the outskirts of the city.

She was 56. Spanish police began an intense search for her three days ago and are still investigating the cause of death, per BBC.

Fernandez Ochoa was a four-time Olympian who became the first Spanish woman to medal at the Winter Olympics. She won bronze in the slalom event in 1992.

Spanish skier goes missing in mountains

Olivia Fresneda, Fernandez Ochoa’s daughter, reported her mother missing on Aug. 23. The skier, who is also reportedly an avid hiker, left home without her phone and had not used credit cards, per the BBC. Her family was “very worried” and issued a public appeal for help in El Pais, the city’s newspaper.

Officials told reporters Sunday that the car Fernandez Ochoa was driving, a black Mercedes A-Class, was seen in Cercedilla, a town northwest of Madrid.

10 PHOTOS
The search for Blanca Fernandez Ochoa
See Gallery
The search for Blanca Fernandez Ochoa
Adrian Federighi, brother in-law of former ski racer Blanca Fernandez Ochoa and spokesperson for the family, embraces a police officer after the search near Cercedilla, just outside of Madrid, Spain, Wednesday Sept. 4, 2019. Spanish police have found the body of former ski racer and Olympic medalist Blanca Fernandez Ochoa in a mountainous area near Madrid. Police said a tracking dog came across a woman's body near a peak in the forested area on Wednesday after days of searching for Spain's first female medalist in the Winter Olympics.(AP Photo/Paul White)
A civil guard leads volunteers searching in woodland area in Cercedilla, just outside of Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. A search squad of hundreds is combing a mountainous area outside Madrid 11 days after former alpine ski racer and Olympic medalist Blanca Fernandez Ochoa went missing.(AP Photo/Paul White)
Adrian Federighi, brother in-law of former ski racer Blanca Fernandez Ochoa and spokesperson for the family, thanks police after the search near Cercedilla, just outside of Madrid, Spain, Wednesday Sept. 4, 2019. Spanish police have found the body of former ski racer and Olympic medalist Blanca Fernandez Ochoa in a mountainous area near Madrid. Police said a tracking dog came across a woman's body near a peak in the forested area on Wednesday after days of searching for Spain's first female medalist in the Winter Olympics.(AP Photo/Paul White)
UNSPECIFIED, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 04: The sister of Blanca Fernández Ochoa, Dolores Fernández Ochoa (L) arrives near the Hotel Cirilo in Cercedilla, which acts as the base of the search engine of the olympic skier and medalist Blanca Fernández de Ochoa, who has been found dead in the mountain range on September 04, 2019 in Madrid, Spain (Photo by Europa Press Entertainment/Europa Press via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 04: The brother-in-law, Adrian Federigh, of the former skier Blanca Fernández de Ochoa talks to the press near the Hotel Cirilo in Cercedilla, which acts as the base of the search engine of the olympic skier and medalist Blanca Fernández de Ochoa, who has been found dead in the mountain range of Madrid on September 04, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press Entertainment/Europa Press via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 04: The sister of Blanca Fernández Ochoa, Dolores Fernández Ochoa (L) arrives near the Hotel Cirilo in Cercedilla, which acts as the base of the search engine of the olympic skier and medalist Blanca Fernández de Ochoa, who has been found dead in the mountain range on September 04, 2019 in Madrid, Spain (Photo by Europa Press Entertainment/Europa Press via Getty Images)
CERCEDILLA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 04: A Police helicopter takes off after transferring the body of Blanca Fernandez Ochoa to Cercedilla football field on September 04, 2019 in Cercedilla, Spain. Fernandez Ochoa was found dead today in Sierra de Guadarrama after being lost since August 23. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 04: The sister of Blanca Fernández Ochoa, Dolores Fernández Ochoa (L) arrives near the Hotel Cirilo in Cercedilla, which acts as the base of the search engine of the olympic skier and medalist Blanca Fernández de Ochoa, who has been found dead in the mountain range on September 04, 2019 in UNSPECIFIED, Spain. Fernandez Ochoa was found dead today in Sierra de Guadarrama after being lost since August 23. (Photo by Europa Press Entertainment/Europa Press via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 04: (EDITOR’S NOTE: Part of this image has been pixellated to obscure the identity of the officers) Officers of the Civil Guard and the dog called Xena who has found the body of the former skier, are seen near the Hotel Cirilo in Cercedilla, which acts as the base of the search engine of the olympic skier and medalist Blanca Fernández de Ochoa, who has been found dead in the mountain range of Madrid on September 04, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press via Getty Images)
CERCEDILLA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 04: A general view of the search coordination center after Blanca Fernandez Ochoa was found dead on September 04, 2019 in Las Dehesas, near Cercedilla, Spain. Fernandez Ochoa was found dead today in Sierra de Guadarrama after being lost since August 23. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Her body was found Wednesday by an off-duty officer from the Guardia Civil police force at La Peñota, a nearby mountain outside of Madrid, according to CNN.

"I think she must have gone to the family's favorite area," her sister, Dolores Fernandez Ochoa, told the outlet Hola! during the search. "I am sure she decided to go there and something has happened to her. I can't think of any other explanation."

Per the department’s updates on Twitter throughout the search, police used specialist teams with drones and helicopters to locate her.

Who is Fernandez Ochoa?

Fernandez Ochoa was born in Madrid and came from an Olympic skiing family. She competed in four Olympics from 1980 to 1992 and had four World Cup victories in 10 seasons. She reached the podium 20 times.

According to the BBC, she continued to stay in the spotlight after retirement with appearances on reality TV shows.

All four of her siblings were skiers for Spain. Her brother, Francisco Fernandez Ochoa, was the first and so far only Spanish skier to win gold when he topped the podium at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Japan. He died in 2006.

"It is a very sad day for Spanish sports," said María José Rienda, Spain's secretary of state for sports, via BBC.

Fernandez Ochoa has two children, Olivia and David.

More from Yahoo Sports:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.