Let Me Eat

This past July 4th, 2010 was perhaps more commemorative than was expected. Though this past year, Takeru Kobayashi did not compete in the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest- it was not for lack of desire to participate. His desire to once again win the championship title was so strong that he even stated he would participate on this occasion for free, an offer in good faith given that in past years, he received a participation fee. Due to the exclusivity terms that barred him from appearing in non-IFOCE events, a term that Mr. Kobayashi felt not only to be unfair but stifling to the growth of the world of competitive eating, he kindly declined from renewing his agreement unless this term was revisited. Alas there was no eleventh hour agreement to be had, and in the spirit of camaraderie he joined the fans to cheer from the sidelines.

From this desire to see the world of competitive eating grow and to give himself the freedom to participate in a wider variety of work, the slogan "Free Kobi" was born. Mr. Kobayashi, along with several close friends/fans, donned the Free Kobi t-shirt in an effort to make a stand for himself. In the blurry moments that ensued the conclusion of the competition, Mr. Kobayashi swooped in the excitement of the moment, the cheer of fans to let him eat, and his earnest wish to be part of the celebration, he was ushered to the stage but the situation quickly went south and ended with him spending a night in jail.

Free Kobi

Upon release he had only one thing on his mind, naturally to eat hot dogs! His spirits are by no means defeated, and he is happy with the outcome today with the charges being dismissed. He continues to be in high spirits, and is that much more challenged to continue to hone his skills as one of the world's top ranking competitive eaters. The meaning of the Free Kobi slogan has grown now to be inclusive and representative for standing your ground for something you believe in. Expect to see The Tsunami soon, he continues to receive the support of his fans worldwide and invitations to attend various events around the world.

He would like to extend his thanks for all the support and personal messages.
Stay tuned and Free Kobi!

Press Release : AUG 5th 2010

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