As she had many times before, Spanish Olympic medallist Blanca Fernández Ochoa, 56, left her house on August 23 ready to do some trekking. The Alpine ski champion is naturally enamored of the mountains, and it wasn't unusual for her to get back in touch with nature, going for long hikes or even longer breaks. So when just over a week ago, she told daughter Olivia of her plans to spend some time in the mountains in the Northern region of Spain, no one thought anything of it."
But after not hearing from the former athlete, who left her cell phone at home, Blanca's family alerted police of her strange disappearance. On Sunday, August 1, Blanca´s car was found abandoned in the mountains outside of Madrid. “I think she must have gone to the family´s favorite area,“ her sister Dolores told the press, her voice shaking with emotion. “I am sure she decided to go there and something has happened to her. I can't think of any other explanation. We are extremely sad but we wanted to thank you all for the big effort you are doing in finding Blanca.
Olivia and David, Blanca´s son daughter and son, waiting for updates on her mom´s strange disappearance
While some sources close to the family told local media that Blanca, who was living with her sister Dolores after selling her house, was going through difficult times, the family has firmly denied any such rumors.
The search for the sports star resumed today with Blanca´s 19-year-old son David reportedly joining the team of volunteers.
Blanca, who won a bronze medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics, comes from a family of athletes, with her late brother Francisco a gold medal winner himself.