Joe Frazier, Champion and Competitor
Dedication, and a Lucky Break
Frazier quickly established a name for himself as a boxer. He failed to qualify for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, but was added to the American team after Mathis was forced to withdraw with an injury. Frazier won his final bout with a broken thumb to take home the gold medal the only American boxer to do so that year. Stardom didn't come immediately after the Olympics, however; Frazier returned to the U.S. and took a job as a janitor at a Baptist church in North Philadelphia. Here, Frazier trains in London before the Olympics in June 1973.