So they started looking around. The United States was too far. France seemed logical because Dorota, see, knew this Frenchman.... "The original idea was to study in France, practice with the French team and still ski for Poland." says Margot. But then Christian and Dorota decided to marry. It was definitely, as they call it, "a love marriage." but the couple admits that the prospect of expediting Dorota's French citizenship through marriage hastened the decision. Meanwhile, Christian's youngest brother. Christophe, a national-caliber bicycle racer whose career was cut short by back trouble, studied the situation from a pragmatic perspective. "Why don't I marry Malgorzata?" he said, trying to be helpful. Why not, indeed?
In June 1985 the twins left Poland with their father, ostensibly for a vacation. Jan returned to Zakopane, but his daughters didn't. On Oct. 12, 1985, they were married to the Mogore brothers in a double ceremony in Grenoble, and the twins became French citizens in June 1986.
François Sedan, a coach for the French team, studies Dorota and Margot as they have a thrust and parry at each other during a leisurely fencing workout at Louis II Stadium in Monte Carlo. "The twins are well-liked and respected on the team," says Sedan, "but they have, now, what you would call a very independent life-style within the team. That is partly because they are so dependent on each other. It is not a bad thing, however. It is shown by Margot's training, mostly. Margot tries to do too much. Some others you have to push, but Margot you must push to stop. And. sometimes, late in the season, she is tired."
Margot acknowledges the criticism. "I have had some back pain, and maybe it's from the extra tennis and volleyball." She smiles. "Then again, maybe it is my age."
The differences between the twins are exemplified by Margot's propensity to overtrain. She is intense, while Dorota is easygoing. Margot tends to brood, where Dorota practically bubbles; searching for the French words to describe his wife. Christian comes up with très ouverte, "very open."
Margot looks more like an athlete in training. too. Christian remembers that the twins were "almost impossible to tell apart" five years ago. but they are easily distinguished now. Margot is not overweight by any means, but she is at least seven pounds heavier than Dorota. It is Margot who has established herself in the grueling giant slalom—she finished seventh last February at the world championships and considers herself a serious contender for an Olympic medal—though Dorota had good GS results last December. "Margot skis harder, more aggressively." says Sedan, "whereas Dorota depends on finesse. She has a very fine touch on the turns."
The twins do not necessarily agree that their styles are different—"If I watch a video, I cannot always be sure if it is my sister or me," says Dorota—but they do admit to personal differences. "I think maybe I'm a little cooler, a little calmer." says Dorota. "On skis, I do not take so seriously the troubles of the course. I think my sister is a little more nervous and..."—she stops to question Margot in Polish—"yes, a little more analytical.
"In life it's like that, too. Say I want to buy a dress and it's really too much money, but, oh, I like it so I buy it. My sister can see the same dress and say, 'Oh, I don't know. Where will I wear it? Do I need it really? Do—' "
"Do I have the shoes to go with it?" cuts in Margot. "Do I have a bag to go with it? Does it...."
You get the idea. But one should not dwell on their differences, lest they become exaggerated into stereotypes. Their differences are more of degree than type, and they so obviously complement each other that it seems as if they sat down one day and worked out a checklist—you take this and I'll take that. "They are a mix of parts" is the way Christian puts it. Dorota, for example, is at the point on public relations matters and is much more arrangement-minded. "If there is a phone call for the twins," says Christian, "my wife is always, always, always the one who returns it." But Margot tends to hold the reins on matters relating strictly to skiing. She usually speaks for both at official press conferences and does most of the technical schmoozing with the coaches.