EMOTIONAL: Well-wishers gather following the discovery of a body

TRIBUTES have poured in after missing winter Olympic skier Blanca Ochoa was found dead in Spain.

The 1992 Winter Olympics bronze medallist had been last seen at a shopping centre in Madrid on August 24.

An intensive search was launched for the 56-year-old with drones, helicopters and police dogs combing the mountainous resort area of Cercedilla near the capital.

A body of a woman believed to be that of Ochoa has since been found by a retired Guardia Civil officer in an area called Pico de La Penota.

“Solidarity, support and human warmth have been felt these days in the mountains of Cercedilla. Security forces and many volunteers have taken part in the search for Blanca Fernandez Ochoa. 

“But nothing could be done. My affection to all her family,” said Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. 

OLYMPIC SUCCESS: Ochoa won bronze in the 1992 games

Ochoa was the first Spanish woman to win a medal at the Winter Olympics.

After retiring in 1992 aged 28 she went on to star in several Spanish reality TV shows.

Spain’s Secretary of State for Sport Maria Jose Rienda said: “It is a very sad day for Spanish sports.”

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