Competitive Eating 2019

POSTED: July 15, 2019

You may or may not know that “the godfather of competitive eating, Takeru Kobayashi burst onto the American scene at the 2001 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, where the lithe 5-foot-8 Japanese 23-year-old, using a revolutionary water-dipping technique and a body-wiggling maneuver known as the “Kobayashi Shake,” ate an astounding 50 hot dogs—double the prior record”.

You may also not know that he has become seriously disgruntled with the Major League Eating organisation, whom he claims have turned the sport into sports entertainment.

”For something to become a sport, you have to have an organization that creates the competition, separate from the organization that the athletes belong to. There need to be different leagues. Each athlete needs to have the freedom to have his or her own agent, and managers, and people that they trust, supporting them solely. The people that create the competition can’t be the judges. The agents can’t be the judges. Everything has to be separated into a system so that it’s really respected and trusted as a sport, and so the athletes can take themselves seriously as well.”

In that regard, Kobayashi would like to spearhead the competitive-eating charge into the mainstream, if the opportunity presents itself. “I would be so honored and happy to be the person to bring that to fruition. My whole point in the beginning was that I wanted to create a market, not just to beat somebody. I wanted to pioneer this into a sport.”

You can read all this and more here in The Daily Beast.