Honestly, Joey Chestnut looks unbeatable, even when he’s injured. The same can be said of Miki Sudou, who returned after giving birth to her son. Both were top dogs again in the men’s and women’s competitions, respectively, in 2022 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th.
The 38-year-old chestnut wasn’t quite flirting with him despite wearing surgical shoes due to a leg injury. He actually did 63 dogs, as did eating 63 hot dogs in just a ten-minute period at the annual Coney Island event, New York. While this did not exceed his world record of 76 hot dogs set at last year’s event, he has continued to do great. Chestnut was the champ in this all-take event for a total of 15 times. The chestnut allowed only one person, Matthew Stoney, to win the title in 2015, since first topped by legendary champion Takeru Kobayashi in 2007.
While Chestnut will likely enjoy that seventh title in a row, this year’s competition wasn’t just a game of cake and games. During the competition, a protester wearing a Darth Vader mask rushed onto the stage. Instead of saying, “Joey, I’m your father,” the protester holding a sign that read, “Reveal Smithfield’s Deathstar,” made his way to the sausage table at the front of the stage, hitting chestnuts in the process. The Chestnut then responded by putting the Protester in a chokehold a bit and then throwing the makeshift Darth Vader with some force. Since the “wurst” was not over, the security guard had to quickly remove the fan from the stage. Then Chestnut resumed his relentless pursuit of the title.
The video accompanying the following tweet from Will Brinson, NFL First Writer for CBS Sports Show how the chestnut put some mustard in throwing the protester away from the sausage table:
At Heinz, this accident along with the injury may have prevented Chestnut from breaking his own record and reaching his stated goal of 80 hot dogs. But it’s still way ahead of its competitors that they really can’t handle ketchup.
Sudo was practically as dominant as Chestnut, having won the women’s competition for the eighth time in nine years. Since winning her first contest in 2014, Sudou has been the big “winner” every year except for last year when the 36-year-old skipped the event due to her pregnancy. In Sudou’s absence, Michel Lesko topped the competition with 30.75 hot dogs for the 2021 title. However, that turned out to be a cake and it did. This year, Sudo took the lead all the way, finishing with an inside feel of 40 hot dogs and buns, which easily ate Lesko, who took second place.
What made chestnut and pseudo so dominant? Well, let’s take a look at what makes the best eaters competitive. It starts from the mouth and throat. Competitor eaters don’t chew and swallow food as you would during a business date or dinner. Instead, through a combination of drinking water and using various chewing techniques, they try to form a mass of food that can then move down the esophagus like toothpaste. (Yes, “esophagus” is the plural of “esophagus” in case you’ve never had to mention more than one esophagus in a sentence.)
It helps them to be able to suppress their reflexes so that this mass can make its way through their throat. It also helps to be able to dilate the esophagus and relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which normally controls the junctions between the lower esophagus and stomach. People who are more competitive in eating are usually able to hold more food in their stomachs at one time than the average person. as covered for Forbes In the past year, you tend to have a larger, more stretched, and looser stomach since birth, training, or both.
Then there are body movements. You will notice that during the competition, the competitors will move their bodies, jump and twist. This is not just a dance to ambient music. It is to actually move the mass of food down the esophagus, again like squeezing toothpaste.
As with all physical competitions, mental game plays a huge role as well. People who are more competitive in eating should be able to suppress the natural feelings their bodies might feel that traditionally tell you to stop eating, such as nausea or feeling full.
Finally, they need enough muscle and enough metabolism to burn all the calories and handle all the salt they consume. A typical hot dog made with either beef or pork consists of about 6 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates, and 562 milligrams of sodium, for a total of 162 calories. This means that 40 sausages contain more than 6000 calories. That’s not even thinking about donuts, hon. Therefore, top eaters should try to keep fit even if they think their esophagus and stomach may be in different shapes.
Chestnut and Sudo dominated Nathan’s popular Hot Dog-eating competition on the Fourth of July, like how tennis player Rafael Nadal dominated the French Open. They roasted their competition without a real end to their on-site reigns.