|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Tuesday, July 3, 2001
|Release # 237- 01|
|Contact:||Sunny Mindel / Peter Fenty||(212) 788-2958|
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today welcomed the competitors in this year's Nathan's Famous 4th of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest to City Hall Park, where he officiated at the official weigh-in ceremonies.
Tomorrow, July 4th, twenty determined competitors from around the world will gather at noon outside Nathan's Famous, on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, for what is arguably the "World Cup of Competitive Eating" - the 86th Annual Nathan's Famous 4th of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Returning this year to defend his title and the coveted Mustard Yellow International Belt he won last year is all-time record holder Kazutoyo Arai, of Japan. The 33 year-old, 5' 6", 101-pound Arai, also know as "The Rabbit," shattered all previous records when he consumed 25-1/8 hot dogs and buns in only 12 minutes in 2000. This year, Arai will be up against tough competition from 4 foreign countries and 14 US cities and towns, including two New York City contestants from, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
"Today's weigh-in ceremony is the prelude to an American tradition that dates back to the early part of the last Century - the Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island on the 4th of July," Mayor Giuliani said. "It's a fun event, but it still evokes a sense of national pride to best your opponents and win the recognized symbol of modern-day gustatory gladiators, the Mustard Yellow International Belt. This year's contest is shaping up to be a memorable event, one at which a new world record could be set. With reigning champion Kazutoyo Arai of Japan ready to defend his title and a field of worthy competitors just chomping at the chance to take him on, this year's competition could easily go down in the history books."
In addition to Arai,
there will be 19 other "athletes" participating in this year's competition,
among whom are, World Haggis Eating Champion Barry Noble of England; Chris
Eyre of Vancouver, BC; former American Champion "Hungry" Charles
Hardy of Brooklyn, NY; Champion Harzer Bratwurst Eater Kai Hoppmann of Bad
Gandersheim, Germany; Ed "The Animal" Krachie of Hollywood Fl.;
and "Kid" Cary DeGrosa of Las Vegas, NV.