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It's not July 4th without Nathan's hot dog eating contest


It wouldn't be Fourth of July on Coney Island without Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.


GEORGE SHEA: Are you ready to sip from the volcano, to ride the tornado, to make love to the dragon? Are you ready?


MC George Shea is talking about what is really a much simpler ambition, to finish as many hot dogs as possible, buns and all, in 10 minutes. As ESPN play-by-play commentator John Anderson can tell you, though, it's maybe as much agony as ecstasy.


JOHN ANDERSON: I kind of think of Einstein when he explained relativity. And he said, like, one second on a hot stove can feel like an hour. But one hour with a pretty woman can feel like one second. And I don't - I think this tends more to sitting on the stove.

FADEL: And for 2022, perhaps the world's most famous hot dog eater won the men's division again.


SHEA: With 63 Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs and Buns for his 15th championship, Joey Chestnut.


MARTÍNEZ: Now, believe it or not, 63 was a disappointing result for Chestnut. He was hoping to break his world record of 76. But he did manage to pull off another feat. When a protester snuck onstage, Chestnut tackled him while he was downing hot dogs. It's pretty impressive gastronomic multitasking.

FADEL: On the women's side, Miki Sudo wolfed down 40 dogs to claim the title. This was her eighth victory, though not in a row. She skipped last year's event because of pregnancy. And this year, Sudo's son, Max, joined her onstage to celebrate and enjoy his mom's accomplishments.


MIKI SUDO: Yeah, I want to set an example and not in competitive eating, but, you know, to do things that you love and to push yourself to your absolute limit - and when things get difficult, to still give it a try. And, you know, you might actually just come out victorious.

MARTÍNEZ: A hot dog, hot summer lesson to live by.

(SOUNDBITE OF LETTUCE'S "PHYLLIS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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