Mother’s eyes looking down from heaven say that it’s BLUE like the sky. Father, used to the calmness of a bedminton play thought that you have to stay out of wind and that’s why he used to go to the gym with Patrik when he was just a kid. They struggled with parallel bars, rings, buck, gym-horse and mat. Although he was just a tiny knot of muscles, Patrik was jumping all around – what a boy! As he was preparing for a somersault, he sensed the passing whistling air as well as the brown floor wood, brown cover of the gym-horse and the mat and thus the gym-wind was BROWN. When his hometown Kosice was covered with snow for the first time in winter, Patrik and his father were rushing down the nearby hills. And at such a speed the wind gets underneath your goggles and helmet and you can feel the icy air all over your body. At that time the color of Patrik’s wind was like the color of snow – MATT-WHITE, only sometimes LIGHT BLUE. When his father tried to catch the wind into his windsurfing sail for the first time, Patrik was trying to skateboard on the road. The wind was BLACK as the asphalt flashing in front of his eyes and


as the burning pain in his scratched knees and elbows.

When Patrik got his first small “Optimist” sailboat running, he used the possibility to tame the wind with his hands by pulling the ropes and helm. He could only feel his face being wet by drops of high waves and see huge white sail in front of his eyes. His dream of wind and swinging on the waves after his first exhausting day of surfing was


as was the sail of his first sailboat.

When Patrik grew up and got stronger, strong enough to raise the windsurfing sail from the water, his father dressed him in the black wet suit, which was hard as a puck. Patrik thought that his dream of the first windsurfing day and wind would be


as his first small windsurfing sail. But it was not. The wind was strong and the waves were high. As the surfboard was making it’s way through waves at a high speed, everything around was WHITE as water foam. And then it happened. He fell in love with wind and water right away. The windsurfing regattas at Sirava dam are colored according to the season of the year. In springtime they are GREENISH like new leaves on the trees. In summer the water goes DARK BROWN. In autumn, Benneton’s color pallet of the most beautiful colors in the world blossoms on the shore.  Windsurfing beginnings were connected with self-made construction of windsurfing boards and thus the WHITE polystyrene was everpresent also in Patrik’s Sunday soup at his grandmother’s and the


polyester stink in his bed.

The first trips to lakes and dams of neighbouring countries like Czech Republic and Hungary were BLACK as the night when Patrik traveled with his father to competitions;


as “Avia”, their car, which his father had to repair each time they traveled; and again WHITE as a water splash when the wind was blowing and the board was flying on the water surface.

And then Patrik had a dream of his first sea. Wind full of WHITE seaspray is colored BLUE according to the sky, GREEN according to seaweeds but it can be also BLACK. It’s when the storm comes uniting the sea and the wind into a tameless element, which can be only explored, utilized and maybe loved. But windsurfing on the sea is also


like blood from blisters, which burn in the salty seawater and LIGHT BROWN as sand in your eyes. And the golden sun that burns a young inexperienced head crispy changes the color of wind to RED like burnt unprotected shoulders. And after paying for your first mistake the anger that is left is the anger that also turns RED. Love of the sea turns to Patrik’s own way of living, attitude and philosophy. Sport only for joy and pleasure is reaching the level of self-denial, preparation hurts. His fullfiled big aims become only small steps of a ladder, the end of which cannot be seen. Local championships, European championships, world championships…

And then, silently, in a whisper, five Olympic colors flash in the mind. Colors of the rings that remind Patrik of his gymnastic beginnings, Benneton’s autumn at Sirava and also countries of different continents, where windsurfing regattas led him.

The qualification for the first Olympic games was demanding not only because of preparation, equipment, time and money, but mainly for stamina. It was successfully accomplished and Patrik with other Slovak team members are on their way to Atlanta. They all thought that Olympics would be


as beautiful black women in Ray Charles’ “Georgia” or as Coca-cola invented there. But Patrik’s first Olympic games were colorful as a rainbow. Dewy and happy.

After the first Olympics Patrik heaved a sigh of relief. Family, friends, yachtsmen appreciated Patrik’s successes, but he was not satisfied. “Family council” held a meeting and Patrik planned another four years of his preparation. The first step was


like his diploma from Technical University and the desktop of a computer screen, which is Patrik’s specialization. The draft on the family accounts that followed was glossy and WHITE as cold bank marble. His father had to work very hard. Preparation all over the planet fused the colors into a big


The most vivid colors emerging in the memories were WHITE of spray and BLACK of blisters. All the hard work during his four years preparation and qualification for his second Olympics was made up by his success in the qualification. All of a sudden the days of joy popped out in memories, the days when the sky and water are azure and the wind has a color and scent one cannot describe, but makes windsurfers happy.


Australian continent welcomed Patrik to his second Olympic games. Racing conditions were very tough. Patrik stood up and defended his title of the best sailor of Slovakia.

After returning home and enjoying the celebrations Patrik’s eyes revive with new hope. Experience, variety of races and successes during his 16 years career are reflected in one of his eyes, youthful eagerness for new exciting experience is what you can see in the other.

Which are the most vivid regattas in Patrik’s memories?

What gives wings to Patrik’ imagination and where can these wings lead him?

What’s the color of wind for Patrik after all these years?

Look into his eyes and you will find all the answers to your questions.

Dušan Vanický, Košice, 27.10.2000