Ted was a great stalwart of the Aramoho Rowing Club in Wanganui in the years after World War 2.
Before his selection in a composite crew to compete at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, he had won several New Zealand Championship titles, the New South Wales State title for eights. He won a gold medal in ‘the Aramoho Coxed Four’ which represented New Zealand in the 1950 Empire Games regatta at Lake Karapiro – the first international regatta held at that venue.
Ted Johnson and John O'Brien were selected for the 1952 Olympic Four along with Kerry Ashby and Bill Tinnock of the West End club, Auckland. Colin Johnstone of Aramoho was the cox and Hec McLeod of Poverty Bay was the reserve. The crew, along with the rest of the New Zealand team, had to go virtually to 'the end of the earth' in Finland leaving by flying boat from Evans Bay in Wellington.
The only lead-up race the crew had prior to the Olympics was as a coxless four in a regatta at Henley on Thames. They performed well despite the fact that they had never rowed in that type of shell previously. The crew made strong showings in its two races, leading into the last 200 metres, but lack of hard racing before the Olympics told in the final stages.
As a born stroke Ted Johnson had a distinctive style, great rhythm, and he was a great tactician.
Ted, John and the cox Colin Johnstone were the first New Zealanders to have competed in a rowing event at the Olympics since 1932. They all played an important part in the development of the great traditions of this sport that have been forged in the post-World War 2 era.
1948 NSW Champs – Sydney
1948 Metropolitan Regatta,Sydney
1949 Winners Coxed Fours - Karapiro
1952 Winners Coxed Fours - Wellington
1952 Helsinki Olympics - 11th
Timekeeper at Aramoho Regattas until 1985