Francisco Fernández Ochoa

Francisco ( " Paquito " ) Fernández Ochoa ( born February 25, 1950 in Madrid; † 6 November, 2006 Cercedilla, Region Madrid) was a Spanish ski racer. He was the first athlete of his country, which penetrated in alpine skiing world leader. He was in the slalom in 1972 at the Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo Olympic champion. This success remains to this day the only Spanish Olympic gold medal in the Winter Games ( the gold medals for the German Johann Mühlegg, who competed in Salt Lake City in 2002 for Spain, were canceled ).


Fernández Ochoa was born as one of eight children in Madrid and grew up in the village Cercedilla on the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama. His family is the most successful ski family of Spain. His sister Blanca in 1992 she won an Olympic bronze medal. Eight years earlier had taken part in the Winter Olympics with Blanca, Luis and Dolores three family members.

His first international competition was the 1963 Grand Prix of Andorra, where he finished fourth in the slalom and won the youth competition. He left school to devote himself to the skiing and was admitted to the Spanish youth team in 1964. In the same year he won a contest in the Val d' Aran, in which he for the first time the reigning Spanish champion Luis Viu defeated. In November 1966 Fernández Ochoa crashed heavily and was two months do not ski. The following year he was Spanish champion in slalom, giant slalom and combined.

At the Olympic Winter Games in 1968, he made ​​his Olympic debut and finished 23rd in the slalom and 38th in the downhill. In January 1969 he first drew international attention when he drove to sixth place at the World Cup slalom from Megeve age of 18. This was the first placement of a Spanish racer in the top ten since the introduction of the World Cup. Although he only won a World Cup slalom in the course of his career ( March 6, 1974 in Zakopane ), Ochoa was one in the 1970s to the most successful and consistent drivers. Between 1969 and 1980 he drove a total of 30 times in the top ten, almost without exception, in slalom and combinations.

But the greatest success of his career, he celebrated at the international championships. After two ninth places in slalom and the combination is in the 1970 World Cup in Val Gardena, later succeeded him for two years at the Winter Olympics in Sapporo, one of the biggest surprises in the history of alpine skiing. At Mount Teine he sat with start number 2 in the first passage of the Olympic slalom the record and remanded the leading in the World Cup Frenchman Jean -Noël Augert but fumbled on rank 2 The favored Augert his second run. Ochoa, however, defended the second-best run time the first place and was more than a second ahead of the two Italian cousins ​​Gustav Thöni and Roland Thöni the first and hitherto only Spanish Olympic champion in the history of the Winter Games. This Olympic victory was also evaluated at the same time as the World Champion title.

His success two years later confirmed at the World Championships in St. Moritz with a bronze medal in the slalom. At the Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck in 1976, he was ninth in the slalom. In 1980, he joined then again at the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, drove in his best discipline but nurmehr ranked 22nd Then he ended his active career.

Ochoa remained one of the most respected sports personalities Spain. 1995 and 1996, he was instrumental in the organization of the World Ski Championships in the Sierra Nevada. King Juan Carlos, whom he had also given training sessions, he was awarded in 2006 for his services a medal of honor. On 28 October 2006, he was honored in his birthplace in the presence of the Infanta Cristina and Elena and the Spanish sports minister Jaime Lissavetzky with the erection of a monument for the winter athletes from Cercedilla. Nine days later, on 6 November 2006, Francisco Fernández Ochoa died at the age of 56 years to lymphoma.