Who is Joey Chestnut? Competitive eater ready to down 80 hot dogs and shatter own world record
Last year, Joey Chestnut simply destroyed all competition by eating 75 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes
The Fourth of July celebrations are going to get a tad bit competitive as Joey Chestnut is looking for his 14th title in 15 years as Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest returns to Coney Island, New York, on July 4.
The event is a long-awaited one for fans of the competitive eater, and has already been deemed as the "biggest sports day of the year" by them. Having won the title for the past five years after his shock defeat to Matt Stonie in 2015, Chestnut is returning as a hot favorite seeking to break his personal record.
Who is Joey Chestnut?
Last year, Chestnut simply destroyed any competition by eating down 75 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, setting a new record for the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. It was his 13th title. Chestnut is 6 ft (1.83 m) tall and his weight is 230 pounds (100 kg).
His first win came on July 4, 2007, when Chestnut won the 92nd Annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, beating six-time defending champion Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi by consuming a then-world record 66 hot dogs and buns (HDB) in 12 minutes. He had lost to Kobayashi for the previous two years in 2005 and 2006.
The following year, he set two new world records — one on February 1 eating 241 wings in 30 minutes at the Wing Bowl XVI in Philadelphia. the second one on March 2, 2008, when he ate 78 matzoh balls during Kenny & Ziggy's World Matzoh Ball Eating Championship in Houston, Texas.
Chestnut tied with his old rival Kobayashi on July 4, 2008, as they both ate 59 HDB in ten minutes. In the subsequent 5 HDB eat-off, Chestnut won by consuming all five HDBs before Kobayashi. Kobayashi and Chestnut were competing throughout that year. In July 2008, he lost to Kobayashi in chicken satay eating in the MLE Asia inaugural event. He consumed just over 4 kilograms (8.8 lb) to Kobayashi's almost 5.5 kg (12 lb).
In a recent interview on VSiN’s 'Follow the Money', Chestnut spoke about the upcoming competition. “I am getting older, but I know my body so much better,” he said. "I know how to push myself. I feel like I’m finding new ways to do it. I’m pretty sure I can beat [the world record of 75]." Chestnut is excited about having an audience. "There’s gonna be an audience this year, I’m so excited to be in front of a big crowd," he said.
He is also ready to break his own record. "I’ve hit 80 in practice… It’s not at all impossible."
And his fans are eager to watch him. "Biggest sports day of the year Joey Chestnut going for 80," one tweeted. Another user added, "best day of the year. Let’s go jaws!" Another fan said, "Good morning to everyone and especially to the Glizzy Goat Joey Chestnut!!!"
Biggest sports day of the year 🎉💫 Joey Chestnut going for 80 pic.twitter.com/ORvosJMMvk— Matt Gajewski (@Matt_Gajewski) July 4, 2021
Good morning to everyone and especially to the Glizzy Goat Joey Chestnut!!!— Nearly Headless Frick (@joefrk) July 4, 2021
The event will be aired on ESPN, which has broadcast the contest since 2003. Coverage of the women's championship kicks off at 11.30 am ET on ESPN3, followed by the men's championship at 12 pm ET on ESPN. A live-stream of the event will be available on ESPN+ and via streaming services such as fuboTV and SlingTV, which carry ESPN.