Radoslav “Slavo” Mulik, who passed away in 2016, would have turned 75 years of age on September 4. On that day, in the town of his birth—Nalepkovo, Slovakia—family, friends, city dignitaries and retired paratroopers gathered to honor Mulik’s devotion to his country and countrymen, as well as the sport of skydiving. His U.S. family traveled to the lovely town nestled near the Tatry mountains to join his Slovakian family for the ceremony.
Mulik was perhaps best known to skydivers as the creator of the Štefan Banič Parachute Foundation (named for an early contributor to parachute design and a fellow Slovak), which honored those who advanced the sport of skydiving. He presented Banič Medals of Achievement to worthy recipients, including presenting the Štefan Banič Gold Medal to President George H. W. Bush in 2010. Mulik also introduced countless people to Slovakia by organizing international skydiving competitions there, as well as in the U.S. He showed the world his profound happiness at the end of Communist rule of the country by skydiving with the Slovak flag over the Danube River and landing in the courtyard of Bratislava Castle. During this time, he started a skydiving club and named it Slovak Air Skydiving Center.
A spirited 90-year-old Slovakian paratrooper, Bohumil Bočkay, originated the idea of honoring Mulik. Although he didn’t know Mulik personally, he felt a kinship with him. The town arranged for a beautiful outdoor ceremony in the Nalepkovo City Hall courtyard, located next to the church where Mulik was baptized. Townspeople filled the benches and a talented choir opened the ceremony with traditional Slovakian songs. Dignitaries gave heartfelt speeches noting Mulik’s many achievements. Following the speeches, his friends and family pulled on a set of cords that removed a blue satin shroud located next to the building’s front door, revealing a beautiful memorial plague dedicated to Mulik.
Jane Mulik and Steven Mulik
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