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Katherine Reutter-Adamek; U. S. Speed Skater

Updated on March 30, 2023

U. S. Olympian Katherine Reutter

Katherine Reutter is a three-time national champion short track speed skater. Reutter is a fast-rising star in the world of short track and the Champaign, Illinois native made her Olympic debut in Vancouver in the 2010 Olympiad.

**100% of the royalties from this lens go to help support The Acumen Fund.**


Reutter was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois. Reutter was inspired to become a speed skater after meeting five-time Olympic gold medalist Bonnie Blair at her high school. She learned to skate with her mother during a figure skating class when she was four years old, but immediately found she was more interested in speed skating. Reutter first started speed skating professionally in 2005 at the age of 17. She began training at the Olympic Training Center in Marquette, Michigan that year. Reutter graduated from Champaign Centennial High School in 2006. She has trained in Salt Lake City, Utah since 2007, where she has paid for room, board, and training at her own expense.

Reutter won four silver medals at the 2009 Short Track Speed Skating World Cup. She won the women's 1,500 meter at the 2009-10 Short Track Speed Skating World Cup on November 7, 2009, finishing in 2:23.275 seconds, beating Ha-Ri Cho of South Korea. Reutter made the 2010 U.S. Olympic team after winning the 1,500 meter final at the Olympic short track Trials in September 2009.

In February 2009, Reutter completed a 1,000-meter race in 1 minute, 29.667 seconds in Dresden, Germany. It is less than 0.2 of a second short of the world record set the previous year by Chinese short track speed skater Wang Meng. As of December 2009, she ranked fifth in the 500 meter category and sixth in the 1000 meter category. Thaindian News has described her as "one of the most promising speed skaters on the (United States) team".

Reutter appeared as a guest on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report on December 14, 2009. Host Stephen Colbert autographed her thigh, an idea by Reutter that initially caught the comedian off guard. She was also a guest on The Today Show and rode on a float in the Rose Parade. Reutter is sponsored by Verizon, LASIK, Bioenergy Ribose, Nike, Oakley and the Champaign Police Department, who have helped pay the costs of her training in Utah.

Reutters Results

Katherine Reutter's 2010 Vancouver Olympic results

Date-------- Event--------- Result

02/26 Women's 1000 m Silver FINALS (2nd-Silver Medal)

02/26 Women's 1000 m Final A 1:29.324 (2nd)

02/26 Women's 1000 m Semifinal 2 1:30.568 (1st)

02/26 Women's 1000 m Quarterfinal 3 1:29.955 (1st - Qualified)

02/24 Women's 3000 m Relay Bronze FINALS (3rd-Bronze Medal)

02/24 Women's 3000 m Relay Final A 4:14.081 (3rd)

02/24 Women's 1000 m Heat 5 1:30.508 (1st - Qualified)

02/20 Women's 1500 m FINALS

02/20 Women's 1500 m Final A 2:18.396 (4th)

02/20 Women's 1500 m Semifinal 2 2:37.060 (4th)

02/20 Women's 1500 m Heat 3 2:29.316 (2nd - Qualified)

02/17 Women's 500 m FINALS

02/17 Women's 500 m Final B 44.846 (3rd)

02/17 Women's 500 m Semifinal 1 44.145 (4th)

02/17 Women's 500 m Quarterfinal 1 43.834 (1st - Qualified)

02/13 Women's 3000 m Relay Semifinal 1 4:15.376 (2nd)

02/13 Women's 500 m Heat 1 44.187 (1st - Qualified)

**Olympic Records Set:

**Women's 1000 m Heat 5: United States (Katherine Reutter) 1:30.508 (OR)

**Short TrackWomen's 500 m Quarterfinal 1: United States (Katherine Reutter) 43.834 (OR)

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Reutter Repays Parents

Double-medalist vows to use earnings to fix foundation at childhood home

Back in her childhood home for Christmas, Katherine Reutter was settling into her basement bedroom when she tried plugging something into a wall outlet.

Only, it wasn't there. A foundation shift she'd noticed during her previous visit had worsened so much that the socket was hidden. She started looking around the whole house and saw cracked walls and warped panels.

Reutter's mother downplayed it all, telling her only child that the family "had other things to spend their money on the last four years," meaning Katherine's career as a short-track speedskater.

So, that night, Reutter made a vow: Whatever money she earned for winning an Olympic medal would be put toward fixing the foundation of her parents' house in Champaign, Ill.

Reutter kept it a secret, until around 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Wearing a silver and a bronze medal that are worth a total of $25,000 from the U.S. Olympic Committee, Katherine sidled over to her mother and said: "Everything that I win here is going toward your house. Start making your plans now, because we're remodeling."

Beth Reutter was so stunned, and so silent, that Katherine said, "I hope you're smiling right now."

"Don't worry, Katherine, I am," Beth said. "I just don't know what to say."

"You don't have to say anything, as long as you don't say no," Katherine said.

Beth Reutter teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her husband, Jay, is a package handler for Fed Ex.

"If I didn't have a strong parent there to encourage me to work hard and not accept laziness and excuses, there's no way I'd be where I am," said Katherine, who lives and trains in Salt Lake City. "I feel like all their hard work finally paid off. … They built the foundation of who I am as an athlete and I intend to give back every sacrifice they've ever given to me."

Photo Credits

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