Spain: Woman’s body identified as missing Olympic skier

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Police and medics wait near a 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)

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MADRID (AP) — Spanish police found the body of former alpine ski racer and Olympic medalist Blanca Fernández Ochoa in a mountainous area near Madrid on Wednesday 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 Fernández’s, Spain’s first female Winter Olympic medalist.

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

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.

Fernández was last spotted on surveillance video at a shopping mall on Aug. 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 Fernández.

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