MLE Entertains American Troops in Guantánamo Bay Navy Base

Three top-ranked Major League Eaters recently returned home from the Guantánamo Bay Navy Base where they spent the Labor Day holiday entertaining American service men and women. Eater X Janus, Crazy Legs Conti and Pete Davekos flew to Cuba over the weekend to surprise the troops and hold a special Pro-Am Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The event was developed earlier this year when Ari Nisman of Degy Booking International, Inc., an agent servicing the military’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command, contacted Major League Eating to explore the idea of competitive eaters entertaining the troops.

“The goal was to get this done on Labor Day,” said Nisman. “Guantanamo Bay had a special Jazzfest event planned for the holiday and, having seen the July 4th event on Coney Island, I thought a professional eating contest was a perfect fit programming-wise.”

The only hurdle would prove to be the date as Labor Day is the busiest weekend of Major League Eating’s calendar year.

“We were extremely excited at the opportunity, but with numerous contests and tens of thousands in prize money, I thought we’d have trouble securing eaters,” said Richard Shea of Major League Eating. “I was thrilled when each eater said, without hesitation, that they’d love to take the time away to entertain the troops.”

So, putting titles and prize money aside, Janus, Conti and Davekos joined Degy and flew to Guantánamo Bay for the Labor Day event. Each professional eater was paired with a first-time competitor from the armed forces, and the teams competed in a regulation, 10-minute Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Of all the eaters, Janus consumed the most allowing him and his military teammate to win the contest.

“This is one event where I can truly say everyone involved was a winner,” said Janus, who is ranked #4 in the world by MLE and is known for his trademark competition facepaint. “We shared a lot of laughs and comraderie with the troops and it was a real joy to add some levity to their otherwise very serious lives.”

Nathan’s Famous, Inc., the sponsor of the Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, provided food for the event, which was part of MLEgives, an effort of Major League Eating that is focused on charitable giving.