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The Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: 08-16-2014
Winner: Joey Chestnut, with a WR 384 gyoza in10 min


Records were made to be broken—so sayeth the tired sports journalist's cliché. This one was obliterated. Hadron Collider-style. Space stuff. Gone. Particles. Dust. Nothing but old ink in old books.

Get your heads around this truth: Joey Chestnut ate 384 Day-Lee Foods gyoza in 10 minutes. Let that sink in and try to wrap your mind around that number. (You will have better luck explaining the Hadron Collider to a brick.) It is an astonishing number, one made even more incredible when considered alongside the previous world record, which was 286. And I say 286 was a world record because it isn't anymore. So isn't.

How? Why? But mainly, how? Chestnut would not lose to world #2 Matthew Stonie on this day. Not. A. Chance. And Stonie would push Chestnut to the absolute limit. The gyoza—the very same gyoza used in previous contests—were soft and moist. To an MLE eater worth his or her salt, that equals speed. And speedy they were. Down, down, down. Each plate of 25 Day-Lee Foods gyoza disappeared in seconds. Chestnut and Stonie were neck-and-neck through out, each pushing the other to new heights. They both broke the previous world record at the six-and-a-half minute mark. And then into unchartered territory: What happens when you eat 300 gyoza? No one knew because no one had done it! K2 scaled, thence to Everest for a better view, down below where mortals dwell. 350. The mortals with their small lives and lowly totals. And higher still. 360, 370. 380—STOP EATING!

And that was that. Plates were counted. Deductions were made. Most smiled. Few frowned. But this day belonged to two men: Matthew Stonie and Joey Chestnut. In defeat, Matthew Stonie knew that he had achieved greatness. Life is not an Affliction T-shirt. Second-place is not the first loser. Second place with 377 Day-Lee Foods gyoza is a human triumph for the ages. When we lose our appreciation for that, we lose everything.

And then there was one. Three hundred and eighty-four Day-Lee Foods gyoza in 10 minutes. Joey Chestnut. Now with 33 World Records. Another win and a great win. One not for the record books and the chin-strokers. One for the ages and for mankind. When Chestnut and Stonie embraced at the end of presentations, it was real, it was loving and it was all this old hack wanted to see. Damn it if your correspondent didn't well up a little and think, if but for a second, hope is not lost forever.

TOTAL PRIZE PURSE: $6,000! 1st: Joey Chestnut, 384 Day-Lee Foods Gyoza in 10 minutes 2nd: Matt Stone, 377 3rd: Miki Sudo, 199 4th: Erik Denmark, 181 5th: Juan Rodriguez, 180 6th: Rich LeFevre, 175 7th: Badlands Booker, 157 7th: Marcos Owens, 157 9th: Steve Hendry, 149 10th: Pablo Martinez, 139 11th: Josh Miller, 117 12th: Andrew Kogutkiewicz and Danny Chau, 66 14th: Mary Bowers, 61 15th: Neslie Ricasa, 52 16th: Eddie Lin, 37

This contest took place at 2pm Pacific, on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at the Ramen Matsuri Festival, 160 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA!

Please note: This contest is restricted to participants aged 18 and over.

About The Day-Lee World Gyoza Eating Championship and the Nisei Week Festival! The Day-Lee World Gyoza Eating Championship will take place during the Nisei Week Japanese Festival and all proceeds benefit the Nisei Week Foundation. The Nisei Week Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that produces the nine-day festival in order to celebrate and share Japanese and Japanese American culture and history as an integral part of the City of Los Angeles' historic Little Tokyo community.

This year the Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship will be held at the main stage of Ramen Matsuri, a new two-day festival featuring food and ramen from the west coast's best ramen shops, entertainment, vendor booths, and a beer garden. Ramen Matsuri is a partnership between the Los Angeles Nisei Week Foundation and Ramen Yokocho US. Click here for more information on Ramen Yokocho US.

As parking may be limited due to local construction, public transportation is highly encouraged. Ramen Matsuri is easily accessible from the Little Tokyo/Arts District station on the Metro Gold Line.

CLICK HERE for more information on the 2014 Los Angeles Nisei Week Festival.

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*All applicants must be 18 years of age or older and fully acknowledge and understand the inherent dangers and risks associated with participating in an eating contest. The applicant further acknowledges and understands that the MLE/IFOCE coordinates with event sponsor(s) to select and approve eligible participants, and that the MLE/IFOCE shall decide, at its sole discretion, whether an applicant is eligible to participate in any eating event, and/or related activities. The MLE/IFOCE may revoke an applicant's eligibility to participate in the eating contest, or related activities, at any time, for any reason, at its sole discretion. The MLE/IFOCE and the event sponsors reserve the right, at any time, to change any and all details concerning the event, including, e.g., time, duration, location and prize structure.

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