From the Top: Contributors, November 1999

From the Top

Because her father was a part-time ski instructor with an obsession for the sport, Susan Reifer started skiing as soon as she could walk. She went on to ski race at Williams College in Amherst, Mass., and eventually settled in Los Angeles, where she worked as a researcher both for investigative writers and for Hollywood (she assisted Oliver Stone on several film projects). But with her ski roots tugging, Susan soon had an urge to return to the mountains, and after a three-month skiing sojourn in South America she decided to reinvent herself as a freelance writer specializing in skiing. Those strong investigative skills are now readily apparent in Susan's SKI stories, all of which are built on a rock-solid foundation of tireless research. For this issue, Susan profiles the transformation taking place at Kirkwood, Calif. "Balancing Act". Susan now splits her time between Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Whistler, B.C.

In the U.S. Ski Team's heyday during the early Eighties, Topper and John were the trainers responsible for ensuring these world-beaters were in the best possible shape. During an era in which the squad took home a record five alpine medals from the 1984 Olympics, Topper and John were pioneering cross-training concepts that would become common practice years later. John, who holds a black belt in karate, inspired the team to practice martial arts. In 1984, Topper and John founded a rehabilitation and fitness company in conjunction with Dr. Richard Steadman. Today, they oversee Topper Sportsmedicine, which recently partnered with the Schwinn Fitness Division and produces the popular SportsCord as well as other fitness and rehab products. Topper and John also manage the rehabilitation and performance wing of the Howard Head Sports Medicine Center at the Vail Valley (Colo.) Medical Center. And, they serve as SKI's health and fitness experts, producing our easy-to-do Ski Fit exercises.