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Gyro Hero: Winner sets world record in Greek sandwich eating contest

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Houston Greek Festival Niko Niko's gyro eating contest May 2013 eating
The contest begins with the first bites. Niko Niko's/Facebook
Houston Greek Festival gyro eating contest Niko Niko's winning belt May 2013
The coveted prize: A championship belt Niko Niko's/Facebook
Houston Green Festival gyros Niko Niko's
The challenge: Fully loaded gyros from Niko Niko's Niko Niko's/Facebook
Houston Greek Festival gyro eating contest Niko Niko's in progress May 2013
Contestants chow down in a frenzied pace. Niko Niko's/Facebook
Houston Greek Festival gyro eating contest Niko Niko's in progress May 2013
Bites become bigger - and harder - to eat. Niko Niko's/Facebook
Houston Greek Festival Niko Niko's gyro eating contest crowd venue May 2013
The crowd cheers the eaters onward. Niko Niko's/Facebook
Houston Greek Festival gyro eating contest Niko Niko's May 2013 winner
We have a champ, Joey Chestnut! Niko Niko's/Facebook
Houston Greek Festival gyro eating contest contestants May 2013
Congrats to all the "champs" at the contest. Niko Niko's/Facebook
Houston Greek Festival Niko Niko's gyro eating contest May 2013 eating
Houston Greek Festival gyro eating contest Niko Niko's winning belt May 2013
Houston Green Festival gyros Niko Niko's
Houston Greek Festival gyro eating contest Niko Niko's in progress May 2013
Houston Greek Festival gyro eating contest Niko Niko's in progress May 2013
Houston Greek Festival Niko Niko's gyro eating contest crowd venue May 2013
Houston Greek Festival gyro eating contest Niko Niko's May 2013 winner
Houston Greek Festival gyro eating contest contestants May 2013
St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church
Get Directions - 1100 Eldridge Parkway Houston

The heat was on this weekend as 12 brave men and women stepped up to the challenge at the Houston Greek Festival: Eat as many gyros as humanly possibly in 10 minutes.

Sam Barclay from Major League Eating was once again the host, with gyros supplied by Niko Niko's on plates at the competition stand on the grounds of St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church. Not sample size. No, these were the real thing, those fully loaded monsters from the popular eatery.

At stake was the Gyro Eating Championship 2013 belt and, of course, eating pride as a "Gyro Hero."

Once the contest began, the competitors, who came from Houston, Dallas, Baton Rouge and Las Vegas, immediately begin ripping off the foil and downing the spicy lamb and beef  wrapped in pita bread, with onions and tzatziki sauce.

When the 10 minutes was up, Joey Chestnut, The No. 1 competitive eater in the world and former gyro eating world-record holder, was declared the winner. He set a new world record of 22.25 gyros.

Congratulations to Chestnut and all who participated. You're all "Gyro Heros."

Got a great photo of a Houston happening or everyday occurrence? Send it to barbara@culturemap.com, along with details (who, what, where and why it's special). It might make our Pix of the Day.

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