An incomparable figure, this is how her sister Lola would define the first Olympic medalist that Spain received in the ski category and who came from the hand and talent of Blanca Fernández Ochoa, exactly in the year 1992 during the edition of the Olympic Games in Albertville, France.
The more difficult a track was or the more adverse the weather, the more the talent of this athlete was seen in the mountains. However, just as the mountains gave her life and gave her her greatest moments of glory, it was This same one who witnessed his last steps and disappearance in 2019.
1. WHERE WAS BLANCA FERNÁNDEZ OCHOA BORN?
The Olympic athlete was born on April 22, 1963 in Carabanchel, Madrid, into a family of athletes and snow lovers. His father Francisco Fernández was a ski instructor in the port of Navacerrada and his mother a cook. She was the eldest daughter of 8 siblings where sport and love for skis ran in the family's blood. Over time, and for reasons of work for his parents, they moved to Navacerrada, where contact with the snow and the mountains would be more frequent.
2. AT WHAT AGE DID BLANCA FERNÁNDEZ OCHOA START SKIING PROFESSIONALLY?
When he was 11 years old and following in the footsteps of his brother Paco, who was also an Olympic medalist in 1972 in Sapporo, Japan. Her parents, seeing the interest and talent that Blanca had towards skiing, decided to enroll her in a sports institute in the Juan March de Viella Pyrenees, in the Aran Valley, Lleida.
3. WHEN DID BLANCA FERNÁNDEZ OBTAIN HER FIRST VICTORY?
her When she participated in the Spanish championships, she was champion three times: in the giant slalom and downhill category (1982) and champion in all absolute titles in 1983. When it came to international competition, she took her first world cup victory in the Giant Slalom at Vail in 1985, and was also fifth in the Olympic Slalom in Calgary in 1988.
4. IN HOW MANY OLYMPIC GAMES DID BLANCA FERNÁNDEZ OCHOA PARTICIPATE?
After accumulating local achievements and international competitions, the way was clear for this figure of skiing to give hope of Olympic victory to Spain and especially to women. There were four occasions in which Blanca participated in the Winter Olympic Games: in 1980 in the Lake Placyd games (in the United States), in 1984 in the city of Sarajevo (former Yugoslavia), in 1988 in the Calgary games (Canada ) and finally in 1992 at the Albertville Winter Olympics (France).
5. WHEN DID BLANCA FERNÁNDEZ OCHOA RETIRE FROM SKIING?
After achieving her victory and her bronze medal in Albertville, France , Blanca Fernández decides to put a space between herself and skiing and to end this stage of her profession. For those who seemed that skiing was their passion, it would end up tiring them due to the pressure that an individual sport implied. He decided to dedicate himself to his home, to his family and he gave up skiing as a hobby when he went to the mountains with his family.
6. WHAT HAPPENED AT THE CALGARY WINTER GAMES IN CANADA?
During the 1988 Winter Olympic Games that were held in Calgary, the Spaniard was on the brink of winning the first gold. She was determined, so much so that at the time she yelled at her brother Paco "it's mine", the certainty of the athlete was such that she believed she had everything under control, apparently. However, even the most professional often make mistakes. Well, it was a descent and a fall that would end up snatching the gold and leaving her second, just behind the Swiss Vreni Schneider.
7. WHAT WAS THE SPORTSMAN'S SECRET?
For Blanca Fernández, where her talent came out the most was when the slopes were more difficult. That is why I preferred the giant and super-giant slalom with steep slopes. In addition to this, in one or another interview he argued that he liked that the doors between both sleeves were closed, this allowed him to use the inside ski to anticipate the route.
8. WHO WAS PACO FERNÁNDEZ OCHOA?
Known as Francisco Fernández Ochoa , he was the older brother of Blanca Fernández and a role model for her. He was born in Madrid but grew up in Cercedilla, a municipality in the Sierra de Guadarrama. He was famous for being one of the first men to give a gold medal in winter sports to Spain, and more specifically, it was at the Sapporo Olympic Games, Japan 1972.
This fact was important both for the athlete and for Spain because the eyes of the world of winter sports saw in Spain a country considered warm and with little tradition in snow sports with great potential for training of future skiers. After his retirement, he began working as a sports commentator and was part of the executive committee for the Spanish winter sports federation. Then in 2006 he passed away, after suffering from lymphatic cancer for a while.
9. WHY DID BLANCA NOT WANT HER CHILDREN TO FOLLOW THE SKI ROAD?
Blanca Fernández had two children from her marriage to David Fresneda : Olivia and David. As a family tradition, growing up surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra and with a history of relatives who loved skiing, it was normal for them to have opted for this sport just like their mother. However, at the time Blanca was emphatic and clear: 'I don't want them to suffer the ravages of an individual sport that constantly confronts you with your greatest fears and limits'. That is why he recommended that they opt for a collective sport, which encourages personal work and especially as a team, such as Rugby, and today both are athletes of national rugby teams.
10. HOW DID BLANCA FERNÁNDEZ OCHOA DIED?
The events surrounding the death of Blanca Fernández is an enigma that leaves many theories and questions open. Although it is known that August 24, 2019 was the last time she was seen alive by residents of the Cercedilla area, the press was also aware that, after her divorce, she was affected by financial and emotional commitments. that this entailed. In addition, he had had to sell his house in Las Rozas, so he now lived with his sister Lola.
That day Blanca had decided to take a route to the mountain as usual, the problem was that she never descended from it. It was his brothers who, when they called him to go see a Real Madrid game, realized that he was not there and he was not answering his cell phone either. After hours of waiting and no response they decided to start the search. There were 10 days of intense search, until the body was finally found on September 4, 2019 in the La Peñota area. The first hypotheses point to an overdose of Sinogan, a medication that had been prescribed to him, but that apparently he had decided to take them all, causing him a heart attack and, consequently, his premature death.