Athletic Achievement

Bernardo Kochen & Cleyton Anderson de Souza are two athletes on a mission who recently cycled across the country to raise funds for Best Buddies. As Team Brazil, they crossed 12 states, deserts and extreme climates, climbing 164,000 feet and riding over 3,000 miles.
Words by Sandy Lindsey | August 28, 2019 | People

“Team Brazil was created to allow people to experience Race Across America, and with the help of Best Buddies we were able to raise awareness for the team and the cause.”

Team Brazil is the union of two friends who met each other at the same phase of their lives. “We both love cycling and we decided to do something challenging and race across America,” says Cleyton Anderson de Souza. “I have two kids whom I love very much and dedicate my life to.” His teammate, Bernardo “Bado” Kochen is a 45-year-old who has spent the last 15 years on a bike. “Race Across America (RAAM) is one of the most difficult endurance tests of the world,” he says. “I knew I was physically prepared, but I also had to be prepared for the different climates I was going to face since the race crosses the country. We completed the race in 7 days and 18 hours.” On the third day of the race, Anderson de Souza had issues and was not able to carry on for a while. “One of our followers sent us a song to play during tough moments,” says Kochen. “I recorded a video with this song and asked that it be played for Cleyton and that helped him recuperate. Everything worked out and we crossed the finish line!” There were also many funny times throughout the experience, such as when they ran over a raccoon in the middle of the night. The team plans to continue participating in races, though they will be shorter ones to have more time for family and friends, and Anderson de Souza hopes to get a spot on the American Triathlon team.