BEIJING—Despite encountering a multitude of 36-inch-high wooden barriers along the way, U.S. hurdler David Oliver overcame every single hurdle in his path on his way to winning Olympic gold in the 400m hurdle semifinals. "As I looked up and saw that first hurdle, I somehow knew it was only the first of many," the emotional and exhausted Oliver said after clearing no less than 10 hurdles during the course of the event. "But when things got really bad around that ninth hurdle, I just dug deep, remembered what I learned from my coach about overcoming life's regulation-sized obstacles, and I jumped over it. Then, merely a few seconds later, I jumped over the 10th hurdle." Oliver went on to profess hope that he could one day "leap right over" his alcoholism, his impending divorce, and his emotionally crippling, nightmarish childhood.