Sonya Thomas
Sonya Thomas.jpg
Sonya Thomas at the 2005 Midway Slots Crabcake Eating Competition
Born (1967-07-26) July 26, 1967 (age 54)
OccupationCompetitive eater
Korean name
Hangul
Revised RomanizationYi Seon-gyeong
McCune–ReischauerYi Sǒn'gyǒng

Sonya Thomas (born Lee Sun-kyung on July 26, 1967), also known by her nickname The Black Widow, and "The Leader of the Four Horsemen of the Esophagus", is a South Korean-born American competitive eater from Alexandria, Virginia.[1] Thomas joined the International Federation of Competitive Eating in 2003 and quickly rose to the top of the ranks, beating competitive eaters such as Eric Booker.

Her nickname "The Black Widow" refers to her ability to regularly defeat men four to five times her size.[2] While the size of her stomach is only slightly larger than normal, her skinny build is perhaps her biggest advantage, allowing her stomach to expand more readily since it is not surrounded by the ring of fat common in other heavy eaters.[3] She holds records in over 25 eating competitions,[4] and in December 2008, she set the world record for fruit-cake eaten in 10 minutes.

On July 4, 2005, she ate 37 hot dogs in 12 minutes at Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, setting a then-record for American competitors (which was also the female record). On August 8, 2005, she consumed 35 bratwursts in 10 minutes, beating the previous 10-minute record of 19.5 bratwursts, although her record was beaten in 2006 by Takeru Kobayashi.

On July 4, 2011, Thomas became the first champion of Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest for Women. Eating 40 hot dogs in 10 minutes, Thomas earned the inaugural pink Pepto Bismol Belt and won $10,000.[5] She defended and held on to that title the following year eating 46 hot dogs. On July 4, 2013, she again defended her title by eating 3634 hot dogs, just beating out Juliet Lee who ate 36 hot dogs.

  1. ^ "Feature: Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas". EatFeats - competitive eating news, database, calendar & challenges. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  2. ^ Moon, Amy. "ASIAN POP: Superchomp Korean-born Sonya Thomas is the No. 1 ranked female competitive eater in the USA." SFGate.com. May 26, 2005. Retrieved on June 25, 2006.
  3. ^ Barakat, Matthew. "At 100 pounds, chewing her way to stardom." Washington Times. July 2, 2004. Retrieved on June 25, 2006.
  4. ^ "Sonya Thomas IS ... 'The Black Widow' of Competitive Eating Archived 2005-07-07 at the Wayback Machine." (personal website) Retrieved on June 25, 2006.
  5. ^ Jen Chung. "Sonya Thomas, The First Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Women's Champion!". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 2017-11-06. Retrieved 2011-07-04.