This Day in Failure: August 9

2008: At the Beijing Summer Olympics, Chinese rower Zhang Liang is disqualified (along with fellow rower Su Hui) in the men’s double sculls event after he fails to show up for his single sculls race. “This shows we still have some problems in team organization,” says Wei Di, director of China’s water sports programs, lamenting the loss of two medal opportunities.

1988: Edmonton Oilers center Wayne Gretzky, 27, is traded to the Los Angeles Kings along with Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley in return for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas and first-round draft picks in the 1989, 1991 and 1993 drafts. Considered a national hero in his native Canada, fans are shocked, saddened and angered by the move.

1936: With Adolf Hitler in attendance, African-American Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal at the summer Olympic Games in Berlin, helping his team to a world record in the relay. Afterwards, the Führer aborts his plan to personally congratulate the victors. Owens had previously triumphed in the 100- and 200-meter events and the long jump, spoiling Hitler’s prediction that the Games would be a showcase of Aryan supremacy.