This weekend will see Nathan’s Famous 4th of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest go ahead, albeit with no crowds. You can watch it on ESPN at 12 Noon on Saturday and watch the biggest stars in the game, including defending champions, Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo.
I zoomed into the busy life Miki Sudo to find out how she was preparing for this year’s hot dog contest in Coney Island. Miki went on to say, “We typically eat in front of tens of thousands of people at the corner of Surf and Stillwell in Coney Island. This year, because of social distancing guidelines and crowd control, we'll be in a private venue.”
Something facing a lot of sportspeople as they make a comeback is that lack of crowds cheering them on. Miki stated firmly, “without that crowd, it's going to be up to each individual competitor to find that motivation within.”
Motivation to eat hot dogs fast. You would think that I would be good at smashing hot dogs being a big guy. And looking at Miki, you would think she wouldn’t. As you can see in our video chat she is petite but has this unbelievable ability to consume a lot of food very quickly. I asked her how I could eat a lot of hot dogs quickly and what advice she could give me. Miki said, “I always tell people, "Don't be afraid to get messy. Dunk that bun, eat with purpose. This is not a beauty pageant." For that one minute, your objective is to get those hot dogs down your throat. So, by all means necessary, if that means minimizing your chewing and swallowing big pieces if that means dunking with ... Just being more aggressive with dunking, I would just say don't hold back.”
If that doesn’t fire you up, I’m not sure what will. Dunk it and eat it!
She truly is the best in the world at eating hot dogs. I called her affectionately, The Queen of the Weiner, and probed if she had any other nicknames! She laughed and promptly replied, “I've been called many things, some of which I probably can't say on your radio show.”
Good luck to Miki this weekend and all her fellow competitors that are ensuring this great tradition at Nathan’s in Coney Island continues.
Watch ESPN Saturday, July 4th at 12 Noon and Encore presentations of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest will air later that day on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET