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Pachita Ochoa, Olympic slalom champ

1972 Olympic slalom champ 

Francisco Fernandez “Paquito” Ochoa, 1972 Olympic slalom champion at Sapporo, died Nov. 6, 2006  after a long battle with cancer. He was 56.

Ochoa, the only Spanish winter gold medalist, remained active in the Spanish Olympic movement, and his funeral, at his home town of Cercedilla, near Madrid, was attended by dozens of top Spanish athletes and sports officials.

His sister Blanca Fernandez Ochoa won the slalom bronze in 1992, at Albertville.
Ochoa was able to make a final public appearance in late October, when the Princesses Cristina and Elena unveiled a statue of him. Ochoa had coached King Juan Carlos in skiing.

His sister Blanca was the second when she took bronze in the slalom at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France.

Before beating Gustavo Thoeni at Sapporo, Ochoa’s previous top finish had been a sixth place in a World Cup race. Third place in that race was Gustav’s cousin Rolando Thoeni. Ochoa went on to win a slalom bronze in the 1974 World Championships, behind Thoeni and David Zwilling, and finished that season with a World Cup victory at Zakopane – edging Thoeni for the last time.

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