Spanish Winter Olympic Medalist Mourned

(ATR) The cause of death may have been a fall, say news reports.

(ATR) Spanish sport is in mourning. The body of legendary Olympic skier Blanca Fernández Ochoa was found in the mountains north of Madrid Wednesday.

She had been reported missing since Aug. 23.

Ochoa, 56, is the first and only Spanish woman with an Olympic medal in the Winter Games.

Her body was found after a large search operation organized in the Community of Madrid. Several hundred police and citizen forces combed the remote area with extensive logistics that included drones, helicopters, trained dogs and cavalry.

The athlete was last seen in a supermarket near Cercedilla, in the Sierra de Madrid.

The Fernández Ochoa family is iconic for Cercedilla. Her brother Francisco has a monument at the door of the Town Hall after he won the slalom at the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo 72.

Blanca paraded in the streets of the after winning her historic bronze medal at the Albertville Olympics in 1992.

No cause of death is announced yet, but according to the first evidence collected by investigators, the athlete had been deceased for more than a week.

News reports say evidence shows a strong blow to the head, symptoms of having suffered a fall.

In the hours since her body was found, social networks have carried hundreds of messages from athletes and Spanish and international Olympic sports.

The president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco, said that the news "has left us in dismay and distress"

"Today the Spanish Olympic family has lost a legend of Spanish and world sport," he said.

Written by Miguel Hernandez.