A world-ranked competitive eater talks training, hot dogs, and vomit

During the work week, Yasir Salem is an elegantly dressed marketing director. On the weekends, he houses hot dogs like nobody’s business.

I have long marveled at the competitors in the Famous Nathan's hot dog eating contest in New York City's Coney Island. Out in the blazing July sun, in front of thousands gathered on the boardwalk (not to mention the countless more watching on ESPN), these presumably hungry men and woman shovel 10, 20, 30, 40, even 60-some-odd hot dogs into their mouths. Many call it quits before time, some vomit, while only one rises above the gag and — covered in mushed-up hot dog bun, belly extended — walks to the awards stage triumphant.

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