Born: Feb. 14, 1969 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Adriana Behar)
Born: Jan. 1, 1973 in Fortaleza, Brazil (Shelda Bede)
Category: Female Beach Team
If it seems like Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar having been playing volleyball forever, they pretty much have. Bede and Behar have played in more international beach events together than any other women’s team since the start of the FIVB circuit in 1992. And the dynamic duo from Brazil dominated the international scene, winning 31 FIVB international beach volleyball tournaments. With beach volleyball recognized as an Olympic sport beginning in 1996, Bede and Behar had a grand stage to showcase their talents, winning Silver Medals at both the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The pair’s international hardware includes the Gold Medal at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada.
Their road together began in 1996, but almost did not happen. While enjoying her first year playing beach volleyball, Bede was a passenger in a car that was hit by a drunk driver and sustained muscle damage and the nerve in her right hand was severed. She was told she would have to give up volleyball, but she learned to hit with her left hand instead. Behar had played indoors for one season in Portugal and two seasons in Italy before returning to Brazil to start her Beach Volleyball career in 1992. They both found little success with other partners, but together, they were nearly invincible.
Bede and Behar won the SWATCH/FIVB World Tour season points title six times, including a remarkable five-year run from 1997 to 2001, their final title coming in 2004. They also won the Gold Medal at the SWATCH FIVB World Championships in 1999 and 2001, a SWATCH/FIVB World Championships Silver Medal in 2003 and a SWATCH/FIVB World Championships Bronze Medal in 1997. Bede also won the SWATCH/FIVB Tour title in 2008 with Ana Paula Henkel and earned several individual awards on the FIVB World Tour, as she was named the FIVB Best Defensive Player in 2005 and 2006, and the FIVB Most Inspirational Player from 2005 to 2009. In 2009, the FIVB named Bede its Sportsperson of the Year.
On the Circuito Banco do Brasil, Bede and Behar have won the season points title eight times (1996-1997, 1999-2004), while Bede has also been honored as the Circuito Banco do Brasil's top blocker (1998-2001) and best attacker (1999). Bede also won Brazil’s inaugural "Queen of the Beach" competition in 1999.