Denis Oswald was a top international rower who competed at the 1968, 1972, and 1976 Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in coxed fours in 1968. He was a 13-time Swiss champion, including five wins in single sculls, with his best other international result a fourth-place in quad sculls at the 1974 World Championships.
Oswald studied law at the Universities of Neuchâtel, Zürich and Cambridge, eventually obtaining a doctorate in law in 1977. He became an independent lawyer at the Neuchâtel Bar, and President of the Bar in the Canton on Neuchâtel from 1990-93. In sports administration Oswald became secretary-general of the International Rowing Federation (FISA) in 1978, and then became President in 1989. He also served as deputy secretary-general of the Swiss Olympic Committee from 1985-96, and was President of the influential Association of Summer Olympic International Federations from 2000-12.
Oswald was co-opted onto the IOC in 1991. He has served on multiple commissions within the IOC, as follows: Executive Board; Chair, Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in 2004 in Athens; Chair, Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 2012 in London; Vice-Chair, Eligibility Commission; Olympic Movement; Evaluation for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in 2004; Coordination for the Games of the XXVII Olympiad in 2000 in Sydney, Coordination for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in 2004 in Athens; Juridical; Medical; IOC 2000 (Executive Committee, 1999), IOC 2000 Reform Follow-Up, Sport and Law; member of the Olympic Collectors’ Association, then Vice-Chair (1996-99); and Vice-Chair of the International Olympic Memorabilia Federation. In 2013 Oswald ran for President of the IOC, but finished fourth in the voting that was won by Thomas Bach.
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1968 Summer Olympics||Rowing||SUI||Denis Oswald|
|Coxed Fours, Men (Olympic)||Switzerland||3||Bronze|
|1972 Summer Olympics||Rowing||SUI||Denis Oswald|
|Coxed Fours, Men (Olympic)||Switzerland||8|
|1976 Summer Olympics||Rowing||SUI||Denis Oswald|
|Quadruple Sculls, Men (Olympic)||Switzerland||8|
|President||World Rowing||1989—2014||SUI||Denis Oswald|
|Individual||International Olympic Committee||1991—||SUI||Denis Oswald|
|Executive Board Summer IF Representative||International Olympic Committee||2000—2012||SUI||Denis Oswald|
|President||Association of Summer Olympic International Federations||2000—2013||SUI||Denis Oswald|