Flavia Oliveira Biography
I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and moved to the USA when I was 16 years old. I was interested in
competitive sports at a young age. My early competitions were shared with my younger brother in a swimming
pool. We were both very dedicated, determined swimmers and dreamed one day to go to the Olympics. My
brother went on to win several medals at the Brasilian Para-nationals and qualified for the Olympic Games in
Athens. I suffered severe tendinitis in both shoulders and was forced to retire from competitive swimming. But
the Olympic dream remained.
The tendinitis in my shoulders insisted that I try something that would draw on lower body strength. After
moving to the USA, I took up soccer during my senior year of high school. My soccer success provided for an
athletic scholarship at Fresno State in 2000. However, the burden of a being a student athlete affected my
academics. I stopped my pursuit of soccer in favor of my studies.
I then transferred to Fresno City College where I pursued a degree in Physical Education. Still I could not stay
away from sports. Employing lessons learned, I entered another soccer season with the college team. Our
squad won the 2002 conference and I also enjoyed competing in track and field.
Following my residence in Fresno, I moved to Monterey, California. I was surrounded by a very different
environment. I was shown many new things. One of which was the triathlon.
In 2005, I did my first event as a triathlete. It was the Wildflower Olympic Distance Triathlon. I finished 5th
and I was thrilled! I improved from there and celebrated many podium finishes including a 1st place at Treasure
At the end of 2005 I was introduced to the famous Italian cycling coach, Dr. Massimo Testa. He convinced me
to focus on bike racing. So, in January 2006, I competed in my very first bike race. I won it! I also totally fell
in love with the sport of cycling. I quickly called Dr. Testa to thank him for pointing me in the right direction.
I started at the lowest level (Category 5) and upgraded rapidly. The following year I became a Category 1
(professional). In 2008, I won the Cal Cup and the California State Championships for climbing. In 2009 I was
invited to race with the Italian team Michela Fanini; the longest standing professional woman’s cycling team in
Italy. In January of 2009, I moved to Lucca to race full time in Europe.
I excelled in the European Stage races. At the end of my first season in Europe, I was the highest ranked
Brasilian female cyclist in the world. My success with Michela Fanini gave me an opportunity to make myself
known to the Brasilian Cycling Federation, and opened many doors and possibilities that I never imagined
possible. The South American Games, Pan American Games, WorldChampionships and the Olympics are all
now possibilities. It is a dream comes true. The dream that I had as a child growing up in Brasil, has become
I truly love fitness and sport and delight to share this love with others. I believe that you can achieve what you
put your mind to and then some. And for me, I have found that it is the journey that is most important.