A Canadian man was left tragically paralyzed after winning a competitive eating contest.
The man started choking and was rushed to the hospital where he lapsed into a coma for 10 days. He has been confined to a hospital bed since November, unable to speak or walk.
The contest, which was sponsored by British Columbia radio station Red FM at the Diwali celebration, involved eating gulab jumuns, a popular dumpling-like desert which the Food Network and other culinary sources refer to as Indian donuts.
The man, 36, has been hospitalized since November. His niece described what happened as the competitive eating contest reached its conclusion: “They called him the winner, and once he stood up, I guess he was choking on the food, which caused him to pass out and have a stroke, and from the stroke he now has brain damage.”
A second ambulance reportedly needed to be summoned to the scene to clear his trachea.
The family is considering legal action against the radio station for failing to have proper safety measures on standby. Any proceeds from a lawsuit will help defray current medical expenses plus what it will cost when the man has to be moved to a long-term care facility. Reportedly, he didn’t sign any waiver of liability before going on stage to enter the contest. The family is hopeful that he will eventually recover from his injuries.
Kobiyashi, Joey Chestnut, and others have become famous their competitive eating exploits, usually involving fare such as hot dogs or chicken wings.
These events can be dangerous, however. Last year, a Florida man died after winning a contest involving eating live roaches and other insects. In general, participants usually have to sign a contract promising not to sue the sponsors in the event that there are any health issues.
Do you think competitive or binge eating contests of whatever scope should be discouraged to avoid any tragic outcomes such as that which befell the British Columbia man?