Although Frazier did not make the 1964 US Olympic boxing team, his trainers convinced the young fighter to travel to Tokyo as an alternate. As luck would have it, Mathis, who won his spot over Frazier, sustained an injury that allowed the workhouse-like fighter to compete in the Olympics. Dominating his rounds, Frazier knocked out his first two opponents and entered the semi-finals as the only American boxer. He defeated Russian fighter Vadim Yemelyanov but sustained damage to his thumb in the process. Keeping the injury a secret, Frazier won a judges decision and took home the gold medal for the US.