At the end of next summer, it will mark four years since the tragic death of Blanca Fernández Ochoa. The celebrated skier was found lifeless on September 4, 2019 at Pico de la Peñota after eleven days of a harrowing search. The past few years have seen numerous tributes paid to one of Spain’s most important Olympic medalists, including the documentary “El viaje,” which highlights her mental health battles.
The documentary starts with the day Blanca moved to the house she shared with her family in Guadarrama and disappeared. Her family was accustomed to her disappearing for a few days before appearing again, but this time, she never returned. “I begged her many times not to do it,” says her sister Lola.
Blanca Fernández Ochoa’s family attended the presentation of “El viaje,” three and a half years after her death, to pay their respects. Her son David Fresnada recounted to the press how he initially struggled to accept her death but found solace in therapy. The passage of time has eased his pain, but he acknowledges that he will always miss her.
Blanca’s mental health issues were a big part of the documentary, and Lola opened up about feeling guilty for not having done more to help her sister. However, she now accepts that mourning must be experienced and hopes that the documentary will encourage others to seek help with their own mental health issues.
“The mental health medal” is a documentary that tells the stories of various famous athletes, including Blanca, and their experiences with mental health. The Blanca Sports Support Foundation, in collaboration with RENFE and RTVE, produced the documentary to highlight the need for mental health care both in sports and society.