Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2010 Olympic designer dies suddenly

Leo Obstbaum, the designer behind Vancouver's 2010 Olympic medals, has died suddenly at age 40.

Obstbaum, the Vancouver Olympic organizing committee's director of design, died at his home on Thursday night, officials revealed on the weekend.

The cause of death has yet to be released.

Obstbaum led the team that created the yet-to-be unveiled medals for the Vancouver Winter Games. He also led the team that chose the design of the Olympic torches and mascots.

"Leo's passing is a deep loss to the VANOC team and the entire organization's thoughts and prayers are with the Obstbaum family," Renee Smith-Valade, a spokeswoman for the organizing committee, known as VANOC, said in an email statement.

VANOC CEO John Furlong said Obstbaum's death is a major loss to the organization.

"Leo is everywhere you look, in every colour, every texture, in every little bit of Vancouver 2010. Leo led and influenced the design of some of the most iconic pieces of the 2010 Winter Games," Furlong said in an internal message to his staff.

"His spirit and daring inspiration has touched absolutely everything and because of him, memories of the Games will live on for generations. A true enduring legacy of what went on here in Vancouver."

Obstbaum was born in Buenos Aires in 1969 and later moved to Spain, where he opened his first visual design company.

In 2005, Obstbaum moved to Vancouver. He joined VANOC as director of design a year later.

Obstbaum previously designed the clothes for the 10-year anniversary of the Barcelona Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games.

No comments: