Biography

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.

Rowing Statistics 

1941 - Joined Aramoho Rowing Club aged 17
 
1945-46  Fours – Winners McLeod Cup –New Plymouth
1946       Fours -  Junior Fours - Winners Wellington
1946      NZ Eights – 2nd  Wanganui
 
1946-47 & 47-48 Seasons  Record – 10 starts, 10 wins Interprovincial Champions of NZ
Aramoho
Champ Eights –Picton
Head of River Eights
Interprovincial Eight Oar Champs (Wanganui Reps)
Jury Cup Regatta
Wellington Regatta
Wanganui Regatta
Christchurch
Dunedin NZ Champ Eights
Head of River Eights
 
1948 Winners Fours- Port Chalmers

1948 NSW Champs – Sydney

1948 Metropolitan Regatta,Sydney

1949 Winners Coxed Fours - Karapiro

1950 Empire Games Auckland Gold Medal
1951 NZ Eights – 2nd Akaroa
 

1952 Winners Coxed Fours - Wellington

1952 Helsinki Olympics - 11th

Timekeeper at Aramoho Regattas until 1985