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The passing of Heinz Tschudin, IOF President 1988-1994


It is with much sadness that the IOF conveys news of the passing of Heinz Tschudin, President of the IOF from 1988 – 1994. After a brief period of illness, he passed peacefully on February 18, 2016.


After beginning orienteering as a scout, Heinz rose to become a member of the Swiss national orienteering squad. He was a founding member of the Swiss Orienteering Federation in 1978 and undertook many responsibilities within the Swiss Federation. He became the President of the Permanent Technical Committee of CISM (Conseil International du Sport Militaire) and an Honorary Member of both the Swiss Orienteering Federation and the International Orienteering Federation.

Heinz was elected to the position of IOF Vice President in 1982, a position he held until his election as President in 1988. As well as being a visionary leader, Heinz was first and foremost an orienteer. Heinz openly professed his love of the sport of orienteering. In 1988, Peter Gehrmann, Editor, IOF Bulletin wrote :

“We know that one could meet the orienteer Heinz Tschudin not only in the congress room but in the forest somewhere between controls.”  Heinz spent a lifetime in the forest, enjoying orienteering. Most of all, he enjoyed “difficult terrain”.

Heinz’ support for the IOF was endless. He was present at both WOC and Congress from the early days of the IOF until 2014. He was completely committed to expanding orienteering to all corners of the globe.

On assuming the role of IOF President in 1988, Heinz widely publicised his vision for international orienteering. Heinz’ dream for the IOF and international orienteering was clearly conveyed:

“That we should succeed not only in the development of new disciplines….but also at the same time, in giving nations other than those which are strongest in competitive terms today a chance to reach the highest standard.”  The realisation of Heinz’ dream and vision is clearly evident in our sport today – a hallmark of his leadership and part of his substantial legacy to international orienteering.

In 1994, as Heinz stepped down from the IOF Presidency, then IOF Council Member, John Pearson, wrote : “During Heinz’ Presidency the IOF has become a more professional organisation. Heinz Tschudin, calm, modest and smiling has been indisputably in charge. Thank you, Heinz.”

Such sentiments respecting Heinz Tschudin are echoed throughout the IOF and the world of international orienteering.


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