Greg Johnston had to wait a long time for his moment of Olympic glory.
He was selected for the 1980 Moscow Olympics but never got to compete because of the American-led boycott that year. And he missed a medal at the 1984 Olympics when the favoured New Zealand eight placed fourth.
However Johnston was a member – along with George Keys, Ian Wright, Chris White and Andrew Bird - of the New Zealand coxed four that won the Olympic bronze medal in Seoul in 1988. The New Zealanders finished third in their heat, third in the semi-final and in the final trailed East Germany and Romania, but comfortably held off Great Britain and the United States for third.
Quite apart from the Olympics, Johnston had a long and distinguished record in international rowing.
He picked up a silver medal in the coxed four at the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games, the last time rowing was held at the Commonwealth Games.
At world championship level, Johnston won a bronze medal with the New Zealand eight at Karapiro in 1978, a silver in the same event in Bled, Yugoslavia, the following year, a gold in Duisburg, West Germany, in 1983 with the coxed four, and a silver with the coxed four in Nottingham, England, in 1986.
In addition, he competed at the 1981 world championships in Munich, West Germany, in the eight.
Johnson was spotted by top coach Harry Mahon while still at Melville High School (where he was to become dux) and was still in his teens when he was rowing for New Zealand.
He became one of the stalwarts of the strong Waikato club for more than a decade. He won 10 national eights titles in 1978-79, 1981, 1983, 84, 86-90, fours in 1978-79, 80, 84, 86-90, coxless pairs in 1988-89 and coxed pairs titles in 1981-82, 84, 86- 87 – 26 in all.
Johnston became an accountant living the West Coast, having studied at night school to pass his accountancy exams. He was formerly a policeman and a deer farmer near Geraldine. He and his brother also own a large deer farm near Kaikoura.