The 101st edition of the annual competition took place at Coney Island on July 4th.
The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has become one of the Fourth of July holiday’s most consistent traditions, held annually since 1916. And for yesterday’s 2017 competition, consistency reigned atop the leaderboards as well.
Legendary competitive eater Joey Chestnut captured his tenth Nathan’s Hot Dog title – his second straight victory and tenth win in the past eleven years – by breaking his own event record with 72 dogs downed, or just over seven hot dog per minute. (Chestnut set the previous contest record last year by consuming 70 hot dogs; however, the all-time record still stands at 73.5 hot dogs, which was also set by Chestnut during a 2016 event.) Chestnut had a solid lead during most of the ten minute competition, easily fending off 24-year-old sophomore entrant and Major League Eating up-and-comer Carmen Cincotti who finished second with 62 dogs, as well as 2015 champ and YouTube eating celebrity Matt Stonie who finished third with 48 dogs.
“There's no secret: I love to eat, and I love doing it, I love to win, so I had to figure out my body and push it to the limit,” Chestnut said after his win according to ESPN who televised the event.
In the women’s division, Miki Sudo took top honors by eating 41 hot dogs. She’s now won four years in a row and has become the most decorated woman in Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest history since the women’s division was first added back in 2011.
Meanwhile, for those who find this sort of hot dog overindulgence objectionable, you’re not alone. According to the Associated Press, midway through the men’s main event five animal rights activists from a group called Direct Action Everywhere attempted to unfold a black banner before being handcuffed by police and removed from the premises. Police say the protesters were questioned at the precinct before being released without charges. In a less controversial dissention, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were also on-hand giving away free vegan dogs outside of the contest.