"This was nothing short of an emotional journey. I know, the journey within, down the alimentary canal. A journey is what it means to be a human. The very essence ... of humanity."
Here's what the skinny Kobayashi had to say about his skill:
"Fat grows out and also in, which makes your stomach smaller. The thinner you are, the more you can consume."
The 98-pound Sonya Thomas came in third, with 32, beating her old record of 25, which was the women's record. Here's how she conceptualized her competitive spirit:
"My nickname is the Black Widow. It's female spider ... bites male spider, right? And it kill him, right? So, when I'm doing eating contest, I wanna kill the men!"
Then there's this hot dog wisdom, from Badlands Booker (who is quite large, and came in fourth):
"The hot dog is the pinnacle of competitive eating, because you're dealing with two substances. You're dealing with the bun ... and also the dog. I've just gotta stay focused and stay hungry. I have the appetite, and now, I've just gotta focus my mind and just mind meld between me and the dog."