by Carla Parker, Jersey Girl Sports Contributor

Happy Fourth of July!!

As a tradition I always catch the July Fourth hot dog eating contest at New York’s Coney Island on ESPN.

For the fifth year in a row I saw Joey Chestnut chow down a whole lot of wieners (62) to take home the hot down eating contest belt.

Against my stomach wishes I actually enjoy watching this competition. Although its kind of gross watching grown men and women stuff their faces with buns and wieners with water for 10 minutes, I find it fascinating that they have the ability to actually do that and survive. I can barely hold two hot dogs in my stomach but you have people like Joey Chestnut who scarf down 68 hot dogs (the world record he set in 2009) in 10 minutes! I was watching ESPN 1st&10 this morning and one of the topic was whether if people like Joey can be consider an athlete.After watching this competition for a few years now I can honestly say that Joey and other people who compete in food competition are athletes in my eyes. Yeah, it is just eating hotdog, but can you eat 10 hotdogs in less than a minute and not throw up? Didn’t think so.

These people actually train for this competition. They to do all these cardio and breathing exercising so the hot dogs can go down smoothly without them choking. They also have to do these crazy techniques to expand their stomachs to hold the hot dogs. It’s amazing! Well to me anyway.

Whether you agree or disagree that this shouldn’t be considered a real sport, you have to agree that these eating competitions are not easy. And it takes a lot of guts (no pun intended) to stuff a large amount food in your system and keeping it in there.