VANCOUVER (AP) -- Katherine Reutter has an autographed poster hanging in her bedroom, one she got as a child from a hometown hero.
"Best wishes," it says. "Go for the gold."
Silver will do just fine.
Relying on the lessons she learned from fellow Champaign, Ill., skating star Bonnie Blair, Reutter won a silver medal in the 1,000 meters Friday on the final night of Olympic short track.
She already had a bronze from Wednesday night's relay, but the Americans backed into that medal after the front-running South Koreans were disqualified for impeding.
This time, Reutter left little doubt that she's as good as anyone in the world, getting edged at the line by China's Wang Meng, who captured three gold medals in Vancouver.
"I just needed to believe," Reutter said.
Adorned in a red knit cap, she could hardly contain herself on the medal stand, jumping up and down several times before she stopped long enough to have the silver draped around her neck.
Long after the race, she was still wearing both her medal and an American flag she had carried on the ice after her runner-up finish.
"I feel complete," she said. "I don't plan on taking off the medal or the flag for three days."
She credited Blair, who won five golds and a bronze over three Olympics in long-track speed skating, with giving her the inspiration to make the medal stand, too.
They weren't close friends, but Blair was always there with an encouraging word as Reutter was coming through the ranks.
"She was a huge influence on me," Reutter said. "Just to have her believe in me at such a young age is amazing."
Shortly before the Vancouver Games, Blair briefed her protege on what to expect at her first Olympics.
"She told me, 'Don't forget your credential. You'll have people coming at you from all sides, so don't be overwhelmed. And just remember, these are the same girls you've been racing against,'" Reutter recalled.
Clearly, she was paying attention.
The Vancouver Olympics and the medals race both finished in spectacular fashion for North Americans. The United States won 37 medals and Canada finished with 14 gold medals. Both are the best of these games and part of the greatest hauls ever at a Winter Olympics.
With one more perfect run down sliding's most difficult track, Steve Holcomb drove USA-1 to the Olympic gold medal in four-man bobsledding on Saturday, ending a 62-year drought for the Americans in the event.