Luckily for Joey Chestnut, having a ruptured tendon in your leg does not affect your ability to dunk dozens of wieners and buns into a cup of water and jam them down your throat.
Chestnut is the undisputed king of competitive eating, and he cruised to an easy win on the Fourth of July in Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, polishing off 63 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Chestnut arrived wearing a boot and crutches, which may have kept him from his record of 76 dogs he set last year. The man known as “Jaws” claimed his seventh “Mustard Belt” in a row, and he’s won 15 of the past 16 Independence Day events in Brooklyn.
His only loss came to Matt Stone back in 2015.
Chew on this stat as you attend a Fourth of July barbecue; Chestnut has now thrown back 1,152 hot dogs combined during his storied run in this contest. There’s no official word on how many have stayed in his stomach, but it’s an incredible achievement that might never be broken.
He told USA Today that he still has big goals even though his career might be winding down. He’s had his eye on the number 80 but would have to find another gear to hit that magical mark.
Here’s what he told USA Today earlier this year.
“Most athletes have two kinds of primes. Their first prime is when their body is the best. I’ve passed that prime. The second prime is when their mind and knowledge is at its best, where you know your body and how to practice less but be just as prepared. I’m there now.”
It was the first time a full-sized crowd was on hand on Coney Island since 2019.