Who let the hot dogs out? During the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, held annually since 1916, competitive eater Joey Chestnut entered the ring on crutches with a broken leg and recovering from COVID to defend his title of the “Hot Dog Eating Champion.” Accompanied by cups of water and a dream, Chestnut, who put a protester in a chokehold mid-competition, won his 15th Nathan’s competition with 63 hot dogs in ten minutes. The protester was reportedly protesting hot dog manufacturing tactics at the Smithfield farm in Utah. According to Sports Center, Chestnut dethroned Rafael Nadal, with 14 wins in the French Open, for the most championship titles in a single event.
During the women’s competition earlier in the day, Miki Sudo made her return to the dogs after sitting out last year due to her pregnancy. She competed against last year’s champion, Michelle Lesco, and Sudo won the contest with 40 dogs in 10 minutes. This was her 8th career title at the competition; she won the women’s world record for hot dog eating in 2020 with 48.5 dogs. Even after returning to the (onion) ring with various setbacks, both winners proved they were the top dog in their field.