t is a muggy July day in a packed amusement park in New York. Thousands of people are crowding around to catch just a second of the next twelve minutes. The smell of hotdogs and lemonade is more abundant that any of the other smells at this time. This is July 4 at Coney Island. The Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Eating Contest is about to start. In the next twelve minutes over sixty people will eat at least ten hotdog and as many as sixty!
Competitive eating is an exciting sport that anyone can take part in. There are many organizations for competitive eating, but the most famous is the International Federation of Competitive Eating or IFOCE. There are many events each year. The foods eaten at the event will vary for each event. In New Orleans, there is an oyster eating contest. In Philadelphia, there is a very famous chicken wing eating contest. There are two different types of events. There are events with set time limits and events with set food amounts. In the first there is a set amount of time and the eater sees how much they can eat in the time limit. The Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Eating Contest has a set time limit. An eater has twelve minutes to eat a lot of hotdogs. The latter of the events has a set food amount; this means that the eater sees how fast they can eat an amount of food. In the ‘90s, when competitive eating was only famous on extreme sports channels in Japan, an American eater was invited to Japan to take part in an interesting challenge. He was taken into a room and was given 30 square feet of sushi arranged in a line. He ate the sushi in a little over thirty minutes. In New Orleans another event with a set time limit took place. At Acme, a seafood restaurant, oysters on the half shell were being sold a $.50 a piece. Crazy Legs Conti, a local eater, went there and ate over two hundred oysters. His picture and his record can still be seen framed on the walls. The rules of the sport are very simple and can be explained in three words. The slogan...
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