Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest Airs Live July 4 on ESPN — here's how coronavirus will change the game

The Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest is on this year and will air on ESPN on 4th of July.

Video Transcript

MIKI SUDO: Practice and preparation really took a backseat during quarantine. I want to say that I'm going into this competition stronger than ever. I have 50 hotdogs in my stomach right now, and I feel fine.

GEORGE SHEA: We almost couldn't do it this year because of the coronavirus, but we were able to put together a scenario where we can do it safely. This will be live on ESPN at 12 noon on July 4th. This year, we will be inside in effectively what is a warehouse. It's 90 by 50 feet, so it's much, much smaller.

The eaters will be spread out six feet from each other along that stage. There will be plexiglass dividers, so it's going to be not the same vibe and energy. They'll be inside. They'll be temperature control, but they'll lose that crowd. I think the crowd really would amp them up.

MIKI SUDO: It can be very, very difficult to eat hot dogs, giving 100% of your effort for 10 minutes at a stretch. It really helps to have that crowd's energy to feed off. From time to time, I catch people chanting my game. And even if it's just one big, loud blur, that energy is like no other. It's going to be really different to compete in what I'm assuming is going to be a quiet, closed studio. It's going to be really weird.

- I think you're going to possibly see Joey break a record. Joey Chestnut is an American hero. He never quits. He always moves forward. I think Miki Sudo, who is the female champion of the world, I think that she will obliterate the competition, right? I just don't think anybody's going to come close.

MIKI SUDO: I've won every year since 2014, and I'm going for my seventh belt this year. It's time for me to finally take that women's world record. When June 4th came and passed, and I had no news on the hot dog eating competition, I just figured it was a wash for this year. Without knowing that there was a hot dog eating contest on the horizon, I had no motivation or reason to really practice with food.

I gauged my capacity from time to time by eating things, like raw cabbage, in large volumes just to see that my capacity was still there. As soon as I could get the news 10 days ago, I hit the ground running. Every year, that mural just stares back at me and reminds me that record's not mine. So I think it's about time that I put my name on that wall.

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