Joey Chestnut will defend Nathan’s hot dog-eating title at Coney Island on crutches

The world’s biggest eater will hobble bravely into battle on Monday, July 4 in the sport’s premiere.

Joey Chestnut shocked the competitive eating community on Friday when he hobbled on crutches into the Hudson Yards in New York City during the official weigh-in ahead of Nathan’s famous 2022 Hot Dog Eating Contest — a July 4 tradition at Coney Island.

“I’m going to eat like a madman,” the world’s top eater told Fox News Digital, before weighing 235 pounds.

“It’s a torn tendon,” he explained of his injury.

“Everything is fine. I can get up and eat. I’m thrilled.”

The 14-time Nathan’s Famous Champion wore a black cast under his right knee and walked with crutches under each arm.

“I don’t eat with my leg,” Chestnut told fans.

Chestnut, 38, from Indiana, broke his own world record last year by eating a whopping 76 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes at the 2021 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Joey Chestnut didn't provide any details as to why he used crutches for the weigh-in.
Joey Chestnut didn’t provide any details as to why he used crutches for the weigh-in.

He declined to specify the cause of his leg injury, saying only that “life happened.”

“When the barren hills and the rugged earth and the once-proud oceans evaporate to sand, there will still be a monument to our existence,” said George Shea, presenter and host of the famous Nathan Hot Dog Eating Contest reigning champion.

“This man represents all that is eternal in the human spirit.”

Joey Chesnut says he will "eat like a madman" as the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Champion will compete on July 4th.
Joey Chesnut says he’ll be “eating like a madman” as Coney Island’s hot-dog-eating champion is set to compete on July 4th.

The women’s division features a highly anticipated grudge match between 2021 champion Michelle Lesco and dynastic Miki Sudo, who won seven straight titles from 2014-2021.

Lesco missed the scaled-down 2020 competition, which was held indoors with no spectators that year, due to pandemic travel restrictions.

Sudo, the world’s top female eater, was unable to compete last year because she was pregnant with Max, whose father was No. 3-ranked male competitor Nick Wehry.

“I’m so excited to be back,” Sudo said.

“It’s been a while since I’ve eaten hot dogs in front of a Coney Island crowd.”

The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest was first held in 1916.

The Independence Day contest returns Monday to its traditional location at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues for the first time since 2019. Joey Chestnut will defend Nathan’s hot dog-eating title at Coney Island on crutches


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