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Joey Chestnut’s Journey To Becoming A Champion

By Alli Sands

When it comes to Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, words such as “champion” and “driven” come to mind. The 30-year-old California native has one passion: eating. Ranked the number one competitive eater in the world by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, Chestnut is a trencherman of extraordinary caliber.

For many years, Japanese competitive eater Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi held the world record for hot dog consumption. Yet the king was dethroned in 2007 when the then-upstart Chestnut beat his record, ending the six-year reign at the legendary Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Chestnut has won every year since, besting his original record on three different occasions.

Chestnut started his career two years prior to his first Nathan’s win, when one of his younger brothers entered Joey into a lobster-eating contest in Reno, Nevada. Though Jaws walked away from the lobster competition without even placing, his appetite had been thoroughly whetted. That same year, Chestnut took down veteran eater Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas in the Waffle House World Waffle-Eating Championship and highly ranked Rich LeFevre at a deep-fried asparagus-eating competition. He received the coveted Rookie of the Year title, further proof of his rising status among the world’s best competitive eaters.

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  • http://www.wordpress-blogs.net/ Wordpress Blogs - Wordpress Blogs .NET

    […] Joey Chestnut’s Journey To Becoming A Champion March 11th, 2014 — “Get to know IFOCE's number one-ranked competitive eater — Joey "Jaws" Chestnut.” […]

  • http://eatfeats.com/tailgate-fan-on-joey-chestnut.html Tailgate Fan on Joey Chestnut | EatFeats

    […] 2005  (36) August 2005  (51) July 2005  (13) The Tailgate Fan blog has a brief recap of Joey Chestnut's competitive eating career. […]

  • http://tailgatefan.cbslocal.com/2014/04/22/four-food-competitions-to-attend-in-2014/ Four Food Competitions To Attend In 2014 « Tailgate Fan

    […] sport for the weak-willed or feint of heart. Most people probably do not have what it takes to be a Joey Chestnut or Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas. That doesn’t mean you can’t attend any number of food […]

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    Joey Chestnut’s Journey To Becoming A Champion « Tailgate Fan

  • http://tailgatefan.cbslocal.com/2014/07/01/female-competitive-eater-michelle-lesco-exclusive-interview/ Female Competitive Eater Michelle Lesco: Exclusive Interview « Tailgate Fan

    […] She jumped out of the gate at her first contest and absolutely blew people away. And of course, Joey Chestnut, because he’s ranked number 1 for a reason — he works hard and still improves his […]

  • http://tailgatefan.cbslocal.com/2014/07/03/how-do-eating-competitions-work/ How Do Eating Competitions Work? « Tailgate Fan

    […] programs to increase stomach elasticity, jaw strength and eating speed. Trencherman extraordinaire Joey Chestnut will conduct personal time tests, eating Nathan’s hot dogs for months prior the annual 4th of […]

  • http://tailgatefan.cbslocal.com/2015/07/01/nathans-famous-hot-dog-eating-contest-2015-predictions/ The Ultimate 2015 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Predictions « Tailgate Fan

    […] you’ve followed competitive eating the past few years, then you likely think Joey Chestnut is the odds-on favorite at Coney Island once again. The returning champion, who is seeking his […]

  • http://tailgatefan.cbslocal.com/2015/07/22/6-eating-competitions-in-the-south/ 6 Eating Competitions In The South, With Moon Pies, Tamales, More « Tailgate Fan

    […] of Fame. It will also put you in esteemed company; challenge conquerers include professional eaters Joey Chestnut, Matt Stonie, Meredith Boxberger and Michelle Lesco. The restaurant is located in Memphis, […]

  • http://tailgatefan.cbslocal.com/2015/08/19/competitive-eater-nicknames-how-they-got-them/ Competitive Eater Names List: How They Got Them « Tailgate Fan

    […] a well-chosen monosyllabic name is all you need to get your point across. In an online chat with Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, he revealed he got his nickname from a competitor after a waffle-eating contest. Chestnut is the […]

  • http://tailgatefan.cbslocal.com/2015/08/26/5-gross-eating-competitions/ Gross Eating Competitions List, With Brain, Kimchi, Pig’s Feet, More « Tailgate Fan

    […] to Major League Eating competitors. At the 2013 event, the league’s then top competitive eater, Joey Chestnut, feasted on 54 brain tacos. Up-and-comer Matt Stonie stomached 53.5 of them, still three times as […]

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