Devastating image emerges after tragic death of Olympic legend

David Fresneda, son of Blanca Fernandez Ochoa, sits on a bench after his mother was found dead. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

Spanish police have found the body of former alpine ski racer and Olympic medallist Blanca Fernandez Ochoa.

Ochoa’s body was recovered from a mountainous area near Madrid on Wednesday after days of searching.

Police said a tracking dog near a peak in the forested area came across a woman's body, which friends said was believed to be 56-year-old Fernandez, Spain's first female Winter Olympic medalist.

Blanca Fernandez Ochoa in 1985. (Photo by David Cannon/Allsport/Getty Images)

Unidentified police sources confirmed to Spanish news agency Europa Press the body was Ochoa's.

Ochoa’s son David Fresneda was a picture of devastation after finding out the news.

In photos published by Getty Images, Fresneda could be seen slumped over a park table in tears after the search was called off.

David Fresneda, pictured here after his mother's body was found. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

Ochoa made Olympics history

Ochoa won a bronze skiing for Spain in the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville and became a household name.

“I remember Blanca with fondness,” said Alberto Tomba, a three-time Italian Olympic skiing champion. “I raced for many years with her brother, Luis. It's a terrible loss.”

In addition to the bronze medal in Albertville, Fernandez had 20 World Cup podium finishes in her career.

Spanish politicians tweeted condolences. Spain's caretaker prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, tweeted his “warmest affection” for Fernandez's family.

“Without a doubt she was one of our pioneers,” tennis player Garbine Muguruza said on Twitter. “An example to every woman.”

Spanish two-time Formula One champion Alonso called Fernandez a “legend” in Spanish sports.

“A great reference,” said figure skater Javier Fernandez, whose bronze medal last year at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was the first for a Spaniard since Fernandez's feat in 1992.

Some soccer clubs also released statements lamenting Fernandez's death, including Valencia and Real Madrid.

Blanca's sister Dores Fernandez Ochoa is seen arriving near the Hotel Cirilo in Cercedilla, which acts as the base of the search. (Photo by Óscar J.Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Police declined to confirm the body's identification to The Associated Press, saying formal procedures had to be followed before an official announcement was made.

But the search was called off after the discovery of the body.

Fernandez was last spotted on surveillance video at a shopping mall on August 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 Fernandez.

with AP