2007 Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest

The 92nd annual [Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest] was held on July 4, 2007, and was televised live on ESPN at 12 p.m. EDT. Six-time defending champion Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi was beaten by Joey Chestnut, who won by eating a world record-breaking 66 hot dogs and buns.

On June 25, 2007 [Takeru] Kobayashi announced on his blog that he seriously injured his jaw during training. He stated that he can only open his jaw about the width of a fingertip. Kobayashi’s participation in the July 4, 2007 Nathan’s contest continued as scheduled. He was able to eat a personal record 63 hot dogs, though his mark was bettered by Joey Chestnut.

Takeru Kobayashi vs. Bear

[Takeru] Kobayashi expands his stomach for a competition by eating larger and larger amounts of food, and then exercises to ensure that fat will not impede expansion of his stomach during a competition. According to a 2006 episode of MTV’s documentary series True Life, Kobayashi has a condition called gastroptosis, an abnormal downward displacement of the stomach. It plays a role in his eating ability because his stomach is able to expand below the rib cage unlike most people, allowing him to take in large portions of food.

Hot dogs are traditionally made from beef, pork, or a combination of those meats. Unlike many other sausages (which may be sold cooked or uncooked), hot dogs are always cooked before being offered commercially. Unless they have spoiled, hot dogs may be safely eaten without further cooking though they are usually warmed up before serving. Vegetarian hot dogs and sausages which are made completely from meat analogue are also widely available in most areas where hot dogs are popular.

Last Minute of the 2006 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Despite the collective will of the Americans to take back the [Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest] prize, only 1 U.S. contestant has come close to Japanese records. The best U.S. competitor is Joey Chestnut, a college student from California. His 2006 tally of 50 hot dogs is 3.5 hot dogs behind Takeru Kobayashi’s 2004 record of 53.5 hot dogs (a little under 13.5 seconds per hot dog). He finished with 52 hot dogs and came in second at Nathan’s in 2006. Results from the 2006 Las Vegas qualifying contest give some degree of hope to American competitors that they will be able to wrest the belt from Kobayashi in future contests. Kobayashi is the only person in the history of the contest to win six competitions (2001-2006) in a row.