‘Only thing that’s the same are the hot dogs’: Fourth of July tradition continues with a few changes

Sports fans were hungrier than ever for competition on TV, and the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest served it up Saturday in New York.Joey Chestnut gobbled down 75 wieners and buns in 10 minutes to win his 13th title. Somewhere around the 8-minute mark, Chestnut made history by eating his 1,000th career dog.The Coney Island tradition allowed betting this year. The coronavirus crisis forced some changes, too. Spectators weren’t allowed to watch in person. Competitors were separated by clear barriers. And the people bringing them fresh supplies wore masks.”It was hard, but I knew I was fast at the beginning,” Chestnut said on ESPN. “The dogs were cooked really well today. At minute 6 is where I missed the crowd. I hit a wall. It took a little more work to get through it.”Miki Sudo ate 48.5 hot dogs to win the women’s division and set a world record. It’s her seventh title, more than any woman ever.Oddsmakers had pegged her as the heavy favorite.The first recorded Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest was in 1972, but Nathan’s says the first unofficial contest was in 1916. This year’s event included extra safety precautions, as well as the opportunity for betting. “It’s gonna be so different. Everything about it is gonna be different. Only thing that’s the same are the hot dogs,” Chestnut said. “I’m happy that we’re just trying to make something happen, and I think that’s what everyone is trying to do. Just keep pushing, and try to have some normalcy.”This year’s contest was moved indoors to a secret location, the crowd was much smaller and seated 6 feet apart. Contestants and staff were tested prior to the competition and everyone wore masks and gloves as much as possible.”All this is unchartered territory, and procedures and policies are going to have to grow, and we’re all going to have to adapt to a new normal,” Sudo said.Each year, the contest makes a donation to the New York City food bank. This year, Sudo said competitors are doing a little extra.”Individual competitors have pledged to donate money to food banks of their choice, and also use this platform to raise awareness for the essential workers that have helped us through and will continue to help us through the pandemic,” she said.

Sports fans were hungrier than ever for competition on TV, and the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest served it up Saturday in New York.

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Joey Chestnut gobbled down 75 wieners and buns in 10 minutes to win his 13th title. Somewhere around the 8-minute mark, Chestnut made history by eating his 1,000th career dog.

The Coney Island tradition allowed betting this year. The coronavirus crisis forced some changes, too. Spectators weren’t allowed to watch in person. Competitors were separated by clear barriers. And the people bringing them fresh supplies wore masks.

“It was hard, but I knew I was fast at the beginning,” Chestnut said on ESPN. “The dogs were cooked really well today. At minute 6 is where I missed the crowd. I hit a wall. It took a little more work to get through it.”

Miki Sudo ate 48.5 hot dogs to win the women’s division and set a world record. It’s her seventh title, more than any woman ever.

Oddsmakers had pegged her as the heavy favorite.

The first recorded Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest was in 1972, but Nathan’s says the first unofficial contest was in 1916.

This year’s event included extra safety precautions, as well as the opportunity for betting.

“It’s gonna be so different. Everything about it is gonna be different. Only thing that’s the same are the hot dogs,” Chestnut said.

“I’m happy that we’re just trying to make something happen, and I think that’s what everyone is trying to do. Just keep pushing, and try to have some normalcy.”

This year’s contest was moved indoors to a secret location, the crowd was much smaller and seated 6 feet apart. Contestants and staff were tested prior to the competition and everyone wore masks and gloves as much as possible.

“All this is unchartered territory, and procedures and policies are going to have to grow, and we’re all going to have to adapt to a new normal,” Sudo said.

Each year, the contest makes a donation to the New York City food bank. This year, Sudo said competitors are doing a little extra.

“Individual competitors have pledged to donate money to food banks of their choice, and also use this platform to raise awareness for the essential workers that have helped us through and will continue to help us through the pandemic,” she said.