Joey Chestnut considers himself an athlete, competitive eating a spot
People love to debate until they are blue in the face about whether or not cheerleading is considered a sport, but what about competitive eating? Some say anything that involves competition is a sport, but McDonald’s and Burger King compete with each other constantly and they aren’t exactly playing racquetball. World hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut recently tied his world record when he ate 68 hot dogs at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. The act of seeing how much you can eat, he says, is definitely a sport.
“I consider myself an athlete,” Chestnut said during an interview with Josh and Charod on XX Sports Radio in San Diego. “I consider it a sport. But I can see that there’s arguments from people who say it’s not a sport. … There’s people who can pick things apart if they try, but if you actually look at competitive eating and watch the contests, you’ll see that we’re pushing each other and you see the competition among the people on stage.
“It’s obvious it’s a sport. We didn’t just wake up in the morning and say, ‘I feel like eating 68 hot dogs.’ I trained for that contest for weeks and weeks and weeks and I tried to peak on the day of the event.”
Some people may not be willing to call eating nearly six dozen hot dogs a sport, but you have to respect the mental and physical dedication it entails. Chestnut also said his body is telling him to stop every day, and that once you pass the 30-hot dog mark things start to get difficult. Try eating six hot dogs and you’ll appreciate the type of work that goes into eating 68 — or 69 supposedly if you’re Kobayshi. If Chestnut says it’s a sport, I’m willing to call it a sport.