Soda-Guzzling Competitors Battle at Burping World Championships
HELL'S KITCHEN — Don't tell Bloomberg.
Five competitors chugged down multiple gallons of sugary sodas each to prove who could be the raunchiest for the longest amount of time in Friday's first annual Burping World Championships.
Tim "Eater X" Janus, 35, won the contest with an epic 18.1 second belch after drinking roughly 2 gallons — that's right, gallons — of Diet Coke and Mountain Dew.
"I was just trying to condense all the air in my stomach and bring it to the surface," said the 165-pound Janus.
"You just have to force every last bit of air up. It's beautiful, really."
As the contest went on, competitors tried to turn themselves into human soda bottles, chugging what they could and shaking themselves by jumping up and down — hoping for an explosive reaction rivaling the backlash against Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed soda ban.
Eric "Badlands" Booker, the 42-year-old, 400 pound titan who regularly appears in competitive eating competitions, could barely let out a belch longer than a few seconds, despite guzzling down two gallons of soda.
"When I have that much soda, it expands like my stomach like I've never felt before," Booker said.
"It's like the Mentos effect. The gas is brewing in my stomach."
Put on by the "World Burping Federation" — supposedly based out of Geneva and formed to eliminate the embarrassment of burping in public.
"The World Burping Federation is here to dispel the stigma of an essential, and some would say necessary function," said emcee Dave Keating.
"We're here to say that after a fantastic meal that one should be able to burp with enthusiasm and intensity — and be rewarded for that."
The five belchers were all competitive eaters with Major League Eating, which sponsored Friday's event at Hudson Station at 440 Ninth Ave.
Each "athlete" had three attempts let it rip for as long as they could after chugging down all the soda they could drink.
Coming in second was 35-year-old Yasir "The Doggy Bag" Salem, who dominated the rest of the field with a 16.3 second burp. Salem said that his competitive eating skills easily translated over to the world of burping.
"We all have an awareness of chewing, swallowing, and how the sphincters in our throats work," he said.
Organizers with the World Burping Federation said that they hope to hold future contests, including a "decibel burping" contest which judges the loudest belch, which the federation described as "an entirely different discipline that requires permits as the exercise frequently violates noise decibel restrictions for restaurants and other public places."
While this is the first time many of the belchers have burped competitively in a professional capacity, Janus said he was excited to participate in future contests.
"I've been having my own amateur contests in backyards all my life," Janus said.
"When you have a gift like this, you have to share it with the world."