June 27, 1992: Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson. They were supposed to be rivals at Barcelona 1992, American Olympic decathletes whose names and faces made up a famous Reebok advertising campaign.
Then it happened: After controversially passing on a shot at clearing four lower heights, O'Brien twice hit the pole vault bar above at the Olympic trials in New Orleans, sending him crashing out of international competition. Johnson went on to take bronze at Barcelona, but it wasn't nearly the same (Page 2 even named it one of the biggest busts in sports history).
The happy ending, though? O'Brien won gold at Atlanta 1996.