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July 05, 2011  | by: Svenja van den Woldenberg

Joey Chesnut Wins Hot Dog Eating Contest

The Fourth of July is celebrated with all the great American traditions including fireworks, parades, barbeques and this year, the 96th Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The contest took place yesterday on Coney Island at the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand, where an estimated 40,000 fans have traveled in recent years to watch the spectacle. Reigning champion, Joey Chestnut won for the fifth year in a row with 62 hot dogs. He holds the record for eating the most Nathan’s Famous hot dogs which is 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes, approximately 21,000 calories.

“I love hot dogs,” Chestnut of San Jose, California said. “There’s a couple of foods that if you see me eat them in a contest, you can tell I like them. Grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken wings, ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza. I mean those, they go down like I was made to eat them.”

Takeru Kobayashi, six year champion before Chestnut, didn’t participate in the contest this year due to a dispute with Major League Eating.

Another change this year was the separate contests for men and women. Sonya Thomas, also known as the Black Widow, won the first ever women’s Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest yesterday, by swallowing 40 hot dogs. Runner up, Juliet Lee only managed to eat 29 and a half hot dogs. Both women weigh about 105 pounds.

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