By Staff

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Jocelyn Walker of Sherman is representing North Texas at this year’s Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Championship.

Jocelyn Walker of Sherman (credit: Major League Eating)

Walker, who lives in Sherman, is the #45-ranked eater in the world by Major League Eating. MLE is  the governing body of all stomach-centric sport, which sanctions the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Circuit and ensures the contests are judged professionally and that safety standards are in place at each event. Walker’s rookie year with the organization was in 2018. At 40-years-old, Walker is consistently among the top three ranked eaters in Texas. When not feasting on frankfurters for fun (and fame), she works as an occupational therapy assistant.

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This isn’t Walker’s first time to compete in the East Coast competition that has entertained for more than a decade. She competed in 2019, (9 hot dogs, 11th place), 2018 (10.5 hot dogs, 10th place).

Another Texan, Abilene native Sophia DeVita, is also competing. DeVita is a professional competitive eater currently ranked #33 in the world by MLE.

According to the MLE archives, the contest has kicked off each July 4th in Coney Island, NY, since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the legendary restaurant.

“The Nathan’s Famous contest is the crown jewel of the Fourth of July and stands as a beacon of freedom for all those who believe in American exceptionalism,” said George Shea of Major League Eating.

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In a typical year, as many as 30,000 fans make the pilgrimage to Surf and Stillwell avenues to watch the event in person, according to MLE. The ESPN telecast of the contest routinely draws an audience of millions of viewers. An annual part of the event is the Nathan’s Famous donation of 100,000 hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City.

In the women’s competition last year, Miki Sudo of Tampa, FL, broke the women’s world record and took first place, marking her seventh consecutive win by eating 48.5 hot dogs and buns. Larell Marie Mele came in second, with 18 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Sudo will not be competing this year. A total of 18 men and 10 women are expected to compete on July 4.

ESPN will broadcast the 2021 contest on the Fourth of July.

UNITED STATES – JULY 04: Hot dogs to be eaten at the Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)



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