Blanca Fernandez Ochoa, the first Spanish woman to win a medal at the Winter Olympics, has been reported missing.
The former alpine skier, 56, disappeared more than a week ago, Spain’s national police have confirmed.
Officials said yesterday (Sunday) that a black Mercedes A-Class car that Ms Fernandez was last seen driving has been located in a town near Madrid.
But police are still working to locate Ms Fernandez herself.
A public appeal was issued at the request of Ms Fernandez’s family. The former skier’s daughter, Olivia Fresneda, who reported her mother’s disappearance on 23 August, is stated to be “very worried”,
Ms Fernandez left home without her phone and has not used her credit cards since she vanished, police sources have reported.
Detectives, who have been looking for Ms Fernandez for seven days, are yet to find any trace of her.
The investigation points at a voluntary disappearance as, once analysing the car’s interior, there has been no reported signs of violence. A police spokesman added that the disappearance doesn’t seemed forced. The investigation is following the protocol established for such cases.
The family believe that Blanca may have gone hiking in the mountains, they believe her to be alone and that she has possibly got disorientated or had a mountaineering accident.
Helicopters have flown over the area where the car was found and search dogs have also been used.
Fernandez Ochoa competed in four Winter Olympic games between 1980 and 1992 and became the first Spanish woman to win a medal at the Winter Games when she earned bronze in the slalom in Albertville, France in 1992.