After retiring from baseball, Barry Bonds turned his attention to cycling. The scorned slugger, who was once a swollen powerhouse, has slimmed down dramatically. In fact, he is into cycling so much that he even began dating former Olympic cyclist Mari Holden.
In a recent feature written by Sports on Earth’s Gwen Knapp, we learned that Bonds enjoys the fact that the Olympic silver medalist can torch him on two wheels.
“He’s very animated about it, and very funny,” Specialized Bicycle Components founder and CEO Mike Sinyard, Bonds’ friend, said. “He couldn’t believe it: ‘How is this little, beautiful woman passing me going up this hill?’”
Holden is pictured to Bonds’ left in the photo below:
— Broom Wagon Sarah (@broomwagon) May 19, 2012
In June, Bonds attended the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame event with Holden. One might think that the home run king would be the center of attention at any sports award ceremony he attended, but it was the 42-year-old Holden who was being honored. Bonds, who sat with Holden’s parents, received autograph requests when people realized who he was. He respectfully told autograph seekers to wait until after the speeches.
“He was very gracious to everyone, but it was Mari’s night, and he stepped back,” county Hall of Fame chairperson Maureen Dobbins explained, noting that she knew Bonds from his link to performance-enhancing drugs. “I’ll be honest, when I heard he was going to be there, I thought, I don’t want to be near him, but seeing how he was, his demeanor, he was a perfect gentleman.”
Say what you will about Bonds and the mark he left on the game of baseball, but it appears he has settled into a comfortable life of retirement. Cycling seems to be treating him well.
PS: Do you think George Clooney hooked up with Holden? Based on the entertaining information we passed along last month, it seems like it would only be fair.