Patrick Bertoletti and Miki Sudo win Nathan’s famous hot dog eating contest

In New York City it’s the Fourth of July, and for some it’s just one. No, not fireworks, sweaty subway rides and family cookouts. It’s time for Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island.

The tournament has long been a holiday staple in New York, and its global television exposure has built the celebrities of its most famous champions. But this year’s event, which tests “competitive eaters” to see how many hot dogs they can frantically scarf down in 10 minutes, saw a new men’s champion crowned and a new women’s record set for the first time in nearly a generation.

Patrick Bertoletti, 26, of Chicago, ate 58 hot dogs in 10 minutes, and Mickey Sudo, 38, ate 51 hot dogs, setting new women’s and, in Coney Island parlance, the mustard belt, men’s title. Register.

Former men’s champion Joey Chestnut, 40, won the event 16 times but was barred from entering due to a disagreement with the organisers. According to Major League Eating, before the game, Mr. Bertoletti was the world’s ninth-ranked foodie, and Mr. He bested several competitors touted by event organizers as possible successors to Chestnut.

“There is never a groomsman and a bride,” Mr. Bertoletti said later. “But today I’m getting married.”

He described success as a life-changing event.

“I knew I had a shot because Joey wasn’t here,” he told Mr. Mentions Chestnut. “I was able to open something and I don’t know where it came from.”

Mr. Chestnut left the competition last month after signing an endorsement deal with Nathan’s rival Impossible Foods, which makes vegan hot dogs.

But he loomed large at Thursday’s events, in one case: a giant Pepsi ad bearing his image hung just a block from the venue.

“Why wouldn’t you want the title of a legend?” Mr. from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Sterling said. “Joey Chestnut not being here is like people saying Derek Jeter is not at Yankee Stadium – people still love him.”

Many visitors to Mr. They tuned in year after year to watch Chestnut go through piles of hot dogs like a wooden chipper. News of his retirement was met with the kind of public anguish one might expect for a major league baseball player, not a man who ate 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes last July 4.

In the women’s competition held on Thursday, Ms. Sudo easily won the title for the 10th time, besting a group of competitors, some of whom traveled to Coney Island from Japan and South Korea.

She ate 51 hot dogs in 10 minutes, setting a new women’s record and surpassing her total of 39.5 hot dogs in 2023. Runner-up Mayoi Ebihara of Japan ate 37 hot dogs.

Mrs. Pseudo ate two hot dogs at a time, prompting an ESPN announcer to comment, “Her style is like the prose of Eudora Welty,” noting that the Pulitzer Prize-winning 20th-century novelist did not seem to enjoy 51 hot dogs. sitting down

After winning, Ms. Sudo thanked her family and the dental school she attended in Tampa as a dental hygienist, and reflected on the pressures of being a mother, student and world-renowned hot dog eater.

“You feel like you’re cheating,” she said, “and you try your best to balance everything.”

George Shea, a larger-than-life figure at the event, described Ms. Sudo as having a “soul that glows like burning magnesium against a dark mountain of night.”

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East Village resident Nonna Didulauri, 31, said she was delighted to see a new female world record. But her friend, Christina DeCarlo, was less amused.

“It’s really bad,” said DeCarlo, 33, a project manager who lives in Midtown. “I want to understand, who decided this was a thing?”

In an interview last month, Mr. Shea said Chestnut was “devastated” by the situation. Senator Chuck Schumer of Brooklyn also offered his condolences What he called “‘Impossible’ is tough news to swallow.”

Mr. Mr. Chestnut’s endorsement deal left Major League Eating. Shea said the self-proclaimed “governing body of all stomach-centric sports” had no choice but to ban him.

“That day would be like Michael Jordan coming to Nike, the maker of his Air Jordans, and saying, ‘I’m going to represent Adidas,'” Mr. Shea said. “That can’t happen.”

The hot dog eating contest is a ridiculously public event that New York City has long been known for. Over the years, it has created its own story, canon and epic heroes, among them Mr. Chestnut has long been king.

According to local legend, the contest has been held every year since 1916, when Nathan Handwerker opened a hot dog joint at the corner of Surf and Stilwell Avenues in Coney Island.

But like many legends, this one is mostly myth. The contest actually began in the early 1970s, and in 2010, one of its original promoters, Mortimer Matz, admitted to cooking up the origin story “in the style of a Coney Island pitchman.”

In recent years, this phenomenon has often been attributed to Mr. Driven by Shea’s wiener bits and theatrical patriotism, he calls it “a celebration of freedom,” and Mr. By the star power of Chestnut.

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The competition made him famous and he became synonymous with the event. As the weigh-in ceremony began on Wednesday, Mr. Mr. to the Shia meeting. Chestnut repeated the story of the departure, assuring them that he could return to the Coney Island event at any moment.

Mr. Representatives for Chestnut did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

On the 4th of July Mr. For those who still wanted to see Chestnut eat a hot dog, he was scheduled to go to Fort Bliss in El Paso to compete against soldiers in a five-minute hot dog eating contest.. The event was broadcast live Mr. Chestnut’s YouTube channel Eastern at 5 p.m.

He will headline the hot dog eating contest on Labor Day, along with another former July 4th hot dog champion, Takeru Kobayashi, who was kicked out of the Coney Island contest in 2010 after a clash at Major League Eating.

Mr. Chestnut’s path may have put him out of Nathan’s competition — for now, at least — but James Webb, a former professional soccer player from Australia, started the competition “as a joke,” Some Editions said in an interview Wednesday. His celebrity status was what everyone in the competition expected him to achieve. Mr. Webb finished third Thursday with a 51.75 hot dog.

“We’re all different,” said Mr. Webb said, as a man in a giant hot dog costume danced next to TV cameras lined up under the pier at Hudson Yards. “We are all different in our own way. But we are very competitive and very disciplined. That’s the part people don’t see.

Nate Schweber Contributed report.

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