MLE

 

Great Z Scores Wing Victory
9/1/2002

Crowd of 5000 thrilled at Buffalo festival finale


Oleg Zhornitskiy brought a crowd of more than five thousand to its feet on Sunday as he downed an unprecedented 74 Buffalo chicken wings in 12 minutes to set a new American record at the National Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival at Dunn Tire Park in Buffalo, NY.

Zhornitskiy, an accomplished gurgitator who holds the world matzo ball and pelemeni (Russian dumpling) eating titles, won an impressive victory over a field of 12 professional eaters from the Buffalo area and from as far away as New York City, Clearwater, FL, and Memphis, TN. Don Moses Lerman, world Jalepeno pepper eating champion from Long Island, came in second with 67 wings while Moe Ribs Molesky of Ohio came in third with 64 wings.

The United States Buffalo Chicken Wing Eating contest, sponsored by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, established a new benchmark for accuracy by weighing and counting the chicken wings before and after the contest to determine which competitive eater truly consumed the most wings. The competitive eating community has widely criticized other wing eating contests that simply count wings, ignoring the fact that the wings come in different sizes and that some eaters consume less meat off of the bones during the contest. The professional eaters also sought an environment with superior quality products such as Tyson Chicken and Frank's Red Hot Sauce.

Zhornitskiy, a native of the Ukraine who now resides in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, consumed a total of 2.65 pounds of meat during the 12 minute contest. This is a relatively small quantity of food for Zhornitskiy, who has eaten 128 ounces of mayonnaise in five minutes competitively and approximately six pounds of matzo balls in just more than five minutes.

Local wing champion Paul Archie, a telegenic newcomer to the professional eating circuit, ate 60 wings to place fifth in the contest that was overseen by Buffalo Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe, back-up quarterback Alex Van Pelt and cornerback Rueben Blades. The championship marked a dramatic conclusion to a series of qualifying events that had been running for weeks.

Next year's Buffalo wing eating season will be even more extensive, and those who would like to sign up may contact Buffalowing.com or www.ifoce.com.