At Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, Women’s Champ Sonya Thomas Cheered on Joey Chestnut as He Tied His Personal Best
What happens if he loses?” asked a father with two hot dogs in his left hand and his son gripping his right. The crowd (or at least those that could hear over the incessant chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!”) turned to face the apparent newbie to the sport with a look of disdain. The male contestants in yesterday’s 97th Annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition on Coney Island had four and a half minutes left in their ten-minute bout, and this was not the time for ignorant (although seemingly rhetorical) questions from a Fourth of July tourist.
We stood amid a throng of patriotic spectators, food enthusiasts and right next to Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, a tiny woman of 105 pounds who only minutes earlier had won the women’s championship after consuming 45 hot dogs and buns, setting a new women’s world record. Afterward, she told us and everyone else within earshot that she was still hungry. We couldn’t help but remain skeptical.
“Wow, just wow,” the only words Ms. Thomas could utter to The Observer over the cheers for the favored Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, a man ranked first by the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Read More