Director of design for the 2010 Winter Olympics dies suddenly at 40

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Clock counting down to the 2010 Winter Olympics

The director of design for the 2010 Winter Olympics being held in Vancouver, Leo Obstbaum, has passed away suddenly in his home. He designed both of the mascots as well as the medals for next year's games. Obstbaum previously designed the wardrobe for the anniversary of the Barcelona Olympic and Paralympic summer games. He joined VANOC as director of design in June 2006.

VANOC spokeswoman Renee Smith-Valade released a statement through e-mail saying "Leo's passing is a deep loss to the VANOC team and the entire organization's thoughts and prayers are with the Obstbaum family".

Chief Executive John Furlong said "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. 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."

Born in Argentina, he later moved to Spain as a child until moving to Vancouver in 2005. He opened his first visual design company in Spain in the early 1990s.