This successful swimmer first took to the pool at the local YMCA and never looked back. Her talents earned her an invitation to join the Thunder Bay Dolphins Swim Club and in 1972 led her to the Thunderbolts. Under the tutelage of Coach Don Talbot, she established herself as a dominant force in the pool with great strength and speed, developing into a successful freestyle swimmer. Her 1974 Manitoba Age Group record in the 200m freestyle relay was a sign of things to come.
The 1976 season saw her qualify for the Olympic Trials where she put in a personal best in the 100m freestyle. Narrowly missing a position on the Olympic team, she earned a spot on Canada's National Team, serving with them from 1977-80.
Taking part in Canadian Summer and Winter Nationals from 1976-79, she earned close to twenty medals and put in record setting and memorable performances. One such moment took place in 1978 when she set a Canadian Record in the 50m freestyle (short course) with a time of 26.01 seconds and won an additional gold, three silvers and a bronze. What made this feat even more remarkable was that six weeks prior to the event she had broken her hand, removing the cast just prior to the competition.
Another outstanding performance took place at the 1977 Jeux Canada Summer Games in St. John's, Newfoundland. A member of Team Ontario, she won 2 individual gold, 2 relay gold, and 2 relay silver medals. At only 15 years of age her time of 26.95 seconds in the 50m freestyle (long course) set a Canadian Senior Record and a long standing Games Record.
Representing Canada internationally, and ranked amongst the fastest swimmers in the world, her 58.0 seconds in the 100m freestyle (long course) at the 1977 National Olympic Committee Meet in Germany earned her a bronze medal. At the 1979 World University Games in Mexico, she anchored Canada's bronze medal winning 4 X 100 m relay team.
Completing her final year of high school in Nashville, she was offered three full athletic scholarships, choosing to attend Auburn University in Alabama. Earning All-American Honours in 1980 and 1981, a knee injury forced her out of the pool and into an early retirement. Known today as Johanna Stewart, this exceptional athlete left in her wake a decade long swimming career that set a standard for others to follow.
Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 29, 2007