Čolak started his amateur free diving career in 2006 when he entered his first competition, the Submania Cup in Zagreb. Less than one year later, he won his first Croatian championship and broke several national records. Čolak turned professional in 2011 and joined the exclusive group of free diving professionals around the world.
Čolak was the 2009 Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) World Champion and world record holder in a joint event with AIDA International (AIDA), the strongest free diving organization in the world. Čolak dove 244 m in dynamic apnea with fins and won CMAS and overall first place, breaking the CMAS world record.
Čolak was the 2011 CMAS World Champion in dynamic apnea with fins, with a 250 m swim, setting a new CMAS world record, his fourth CMAS world record in his short career. On October 16, 2011, he became the AIDA International world champion in the same event (AIDA World Championship in Lignano, Italy), and set the new AIDA world record of 273 m, surpassing the previous record of 265 m held by Dave Mullins. At the same event he won two gold medals, one silver medal and set a new world record.
Čolak won the 2012 AIDA Team World Championship, held in Nice, France with Veljano Zanki and Božidar Petani as his team mates. This was first appearance and first gold medal for the Croatian team at a team World Championships. In addition to gold medal the Croatian team set the new all-time best in points with 840 points, beating the previous record of 839 points set by the Denmark team at Okinawa in 2010.
Čolak competed in 2013 Belgrade Pool World Championship, and won all three gold medals from each of the pool disciplines and set one world record. Goran Čolak won the dynamic apnea without fins finals with a 206 m dive, the dynamic apnea with fins with a 281 m dive, which beat his current world record of 273 m set in 2011. On the third day he won his third gold medal in static, holding his breathe for 8minutes and 59 seconds. Čolak was dominating the Belgrade World Championship from the very beginning to the end, winning every qualification heat and every final. His results in qualifications were 182 m in DNF, 250 m in DYN and 8:34 min in STA.
Čolak competed in 2013 at CMAS World Games in Kazan, Russia. He again broke a Croatian national record in static apnea to 9:18 min and won bronze medal. At the same competition he won two silver medals in dynamic apnea with fins (260 m) and dynamic apnea without fins (194 m). Čolak was the only male athlete who won medals in all three disciplines in Kazan.
Čolak announced AIDA WR attempt in Belgrade from 21–27 November 2013. He succeeded on the first day with the dive of 225m, adding 7m to the old record that was held by Dave Mullins from New Zealand.
Čolak was a member of Croatian national team at AIDA Team World Championship in Sardinia 2014. He was the most successful athlete of the entire competition in overall points. He set two Team WCh records, one in static (9:13 min), and one in dynamic with fins (250 m). Unfortunately, Croatian team finished fourth, after 2 other members, Bozidar Petani and Bruno Segvic earned two disqualifications or red cards in dynamic with fins and constant weight.
Čolak competed in 2014 CMAS European championship in Spain (Tenerife), as a member of Croatian national team. He broke CMAS and overall World Record in dynamic apnea with fins, with a dive of 288m adding 23 m to CMAS WR (previously held by Aleksandr Kostyshen from Russia) and 7 m to overall (AIDA and CMAS) WR (adding 7 m to his own 281-metre AIDA dive from 2013). He also won a gold medal in that discipline. He also won a silver medal in static apnea.
In 2015, Čolak took part at his third Individual AIDA Pool World championship, Belgrade, Serbia. He won one silver (STA), and one bronze medal (DNF), making this the first AIDA WCh where he did not win medals in all the disciplines. Čolak also announced that, at this point, he will start moving from pool to the depth disciplines.
At 2015 AIDA depth World championship, which was held in Limassol Cyprus, Čolak had his depth debut. He broke all three depth national records with dives to 71 m in CNF, 108 m in CWT and 98 m in FIM. He was awarded silver medal for his Constant weight dive to 108 m and was an overall winner of the Championship. For the first time AIDA awarded the overalls. The award is called "Natalia Molchanova award", by late Natalia Molchanova, the most successful fereediver of all time. Čolak became the first person who received this award.
Later in 2015, Čolak took part at the first CMAS depth World championship in Ischia, Italy. He competed in Constant weight (CWT), same discipline where he won silver medal earlier this year at AIDA World championship in Cyprus with a dive of 108 m. This time he dove 110 m, winning the gold medal and setting the new CMAS World record.
Čolak is currently AIDA's most successful male athlete from AIDA World Championships with six gold, three silver and one bronze medal.
Čolak broke more than 30 national CMAS and AIDA records, won Croatian DYN championship 9 times in a row (2007-2015), and was nominated for Croatian athlete of the year in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013, 2014.
Čolak won the Dubai Range Rover challenge for two consecutive years, (2011–2012) and came second in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, he again won the challenge.
Čolak announced on September 28, 2013, that he would attempt to break the world record in static apnea on pure oxygen, held by Tom Sietas with a time of 22 minutes 22 seconds. Goran succeeded by holding his breath, at the Zagreb main square, for 22:30 min, setting the new Guinness World Record. On 20 June 2014 he improved his record to 23:01.
Official world records
|CWT||CMAS||110 m||6 Oct 2015||Ischia|
|DYN||CMAS||288 m||17 Oct 2014||Tenerife|
|STA O2||GUINNESS||23:01 min||20 Jun 2014||Vir|
|DNF||AIDA||225 m||21 Nov 2013||Pančevo|
|STA O2||GUINNESS||22:32 min||29 Sep 2013||Zagreb|
|DYN||AIDA||281 m||28 Jun 2013||Belgrade|
|DYN||AIDA||273 m||16 Oct 2011||Lignano|
|DYN||CMAS||250 m||1 Oct 2011||Tenerife|
|DYN||CMAS||248.52 m||13 Sep 2010||Zagreb|
|DYN||CMAS||244.33 m||22 Aug 2008||Aarhus|
|DYN||CMAS||189.48 m||16 Jun 2007||Split|
- Bolded for overall WR under all federations. STA O2 is overall WR but discipline is not official by AIDA or CMAS.
World championships medal list
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- "Hrvatima čak dva svjetska rekorda - Sportnet". Hrsport.net. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
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- "Goran Čolak svjetski prvak u ronjenju na dah". Index.hr (in Croatian). 4 September 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "Lignano; Dynamic with Fin Results and a New World Record!". aidainternational.org. AIDA International. 16 October 2011. Archived from the original on 21 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- "Svjetski rekord i zlato za Gorana Čolaka u ronjenju na dah" [Free-diving world record and gold for Gordan Čolak]. Vjesnik (in Croatian). 16 October 2011. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- "Final results for Static Apnea and wrap-up for Lignano – AIDA International". Aidainternational.org. 2011-10-17. Archived from the original on 2016-03-13. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
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- "Goran Čolak s tri medalje najuspješniji muški natjecatelj na svjetskom prvenstvu u Rusiji" (in Croatian). 10 August 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "Goran Colak - World Record DNF 225m". Finswimmer.com. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2015-04-29.[permanent dead link]
- "AIDA TEAM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 - Home Page". Blueworldchamp.it. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Hrvatska reprezentacija | EP u ronjenju na dah: Goran Čolak osvojio zlato i postavio novi svjetski rekord! - Hrvatska reprezentacija". Hrvatskareprezentacija.hr. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "AIDA International". AIDA International. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Hrvatski Olimpijski Odbor - Naslovna". Hoo.hr. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "AIDA Hrvatska". Podvodni.hr. 2012-11-17. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Goran Čolak osvojio drugo mjesto u ronjenju na dah – Sport — SOUNDSET - nacionalna radijska grupa". Soundset.hr. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Goran Čolak oborio svjetski rekord u ronjenju na dah! - Večernji.hr". Vecernji.hr. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Goran Čolak oborio rekord! Pod vodom bio 23 minute i jednu sekundu". Večernji list (in Croatian). 20 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.