Is Competitive Eating a Real Sport?
Sport, for those who don’t know what it means, can be described as anything that involves physical exertion or skill, where the main emphasis of the game is on competition or participation and which has official recognition as a sport when the majority of the participants are actively involved in the sport itself. This can include games such as American football (football), rugby (rugby) and baseball (baseball). Sport is usually organised around a particular region, club, school or country. For example, American football is predominantly played between and amongst southern Americans whereas cricket is popular in Britain but is played all over the world.
Competitions and games can be as individualistic as chess, as team-based as ice hockey, or as competitive eating competitions as weightlifting. They can also be as mundane as two old men walking across the street or as competitive as synchronized swimming and diving. The main difference between most sporting activities and others is the level of skill and attention required and the degree of physical effort required. It may require a certain amount of skill and fitness to excel at billiards but there is no real skill required to bowl.
As far as skill is concerned, most people would say it’s about timing, form and the ability to use one’s own body weight against another. While the elements of skill are present in many sports, the level of physical effort required changes with the type of sport. For example, swimming requires both strength and stamina from its swimming strokes, whereas mountain climbing requires both physical strength and the mental capacity to overcome the challenge of the mountain. So, from an athletic perspective we could say there are three elements involved in competitive eating, the first being the physical aspect of it all and the second being the mental preparation and the third element being the competition itself. In the end of the day we can say this is simply a statement of fact rather than an opinion or a verdict on the matter.