It's the 4th of July, the day that America commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Naturally, what is a more American way to celebrate this day than with an eating competition? However, this is not only any normal eating contest but the famous Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut makes history with his win

Joey Chestnut came into the 2017 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest as the clear cut favorite. Coming into the event he had won the legendary 'Mustard Belt' a record nine times, including winning it eight years in a row from 2007-2014.

This year was no different as Chestnut devoured the competition by eating an event-record and personal-best record 72 hot dogs (20,160 calories) in 10 minutes.

This broke the previous event record of 70 hot dogs that he set last year. Chestnut's nearest competition was Carmen Cincotti at 62 hot dogs and Matt Stonie, who only ate 48 hot dogs. Regardless of if you view competitive eating as a sport or not, it seems pretty clear-cut that Chestnut is the best at what he does.

Miki Sudo also set a record at the women's event

The women's 2017 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest was won by Miki Sudo. This was the fourth year in a row that she claimed the pink champion's belt, sponsored by Pepto-Bismol. Like Joey Chestnut, Sudo also had a new personal best by gobbling up 41 hot dogs (11,480 calories).

This broke the previous event record of 38-and-a-half hot dogs set last year by Sudo. Michelle Lesco came in second place with 32-and-a-half hot dogs, while Sonya Thomas was in third place with 30.

The history of the contest

The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held annually at Coney Island, New York since 1972. It takes place at the original location of the first Nathan's Famous hot dog stand. According to legend, the first contest was held between four immigrants on the 4th of July in 1916 to decide which among them was the most patriotic.

Ironically enough, from 1997 to 2006 the contest was dominated by Japenese men, who won it nine times in ten years. In that span Hirofumi Nakajima won twice, Kazutoyo Arai won once and Takeru Kobayashi won six times. In 2001, the year of Kobayashi's first victory, he ate 50 hot dogs which shattered the previous world record of 25.

It was after this that the event gained more prominent popularity, with ESPN airing the event every year since 2003. In 2011, a separate women's competition was added for the first time, as they had previously competed against the men.