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Molly Schuyler did not plan on becoming one of the world’s most successful competitive eaters, but it happened.
In 2012, a friend suggested she compete in a burger-eating contest at a restaurant in her hometown of Bellevue, Neb. Intrigued with the suggestion as well as the idea of getting free food, she agreed.
And she won.
"I walked away that day and thought that was it," says Schuyler.
Instead, Schuyler went on to win dozens of competitive eating contests, devouring food items that include burgers, pizza, wings, pumpkin pie, dumplings, Tater Tots and more at record-breaking speeds.
Recently, she won the Philadelphia based "Wing Bowl" during which she ate 363 wings in 30 minutes. Last month, she broke a world’s record when she downed a 72-ounce steak in two minutes and 44 seconds.
Schuyler was recently in Madison where she broke a national record at Ian’s Pizza after eating almost 13 24-inch pizzas in 10 minutes. She also won a Madison-based burger-eating contest during which she ate an eight-pound burger and mound of fries in nine minutes.
She says she enjoyed her time in Wisconsin and was surprised by the number of people with her same last name living in Madison.
Schuyler doesn’t have any secrets or tricks when it comes to competitive eating.
"Honestly, I’ve just always eaten big," says Schuyler, who is surprisingly petite which proves that competitive eating does not mean a person has to be large. "Often times smaller people eat more."
Schuyler credits her "amazing jaw strength" as one of the reasons why she is so good at competitive eating and says many people lose because they simply get tired of chewing. Drinking sips of water between bites helps, too.
Schuyler, who has four children between the ages of 5 and 10, considers herself a professional competitive eater, but she is completely independent and attends only the events that work for her and her family.
"Everything is completely on my own terms," she says.
Schuyler says her kids are not aware of the depth of her successes because she does not want them to be ridiculed or approached by media or unkind people.
Todd Greenwald, who is originally from Milwaukee, is the owner of the Madison-based All Pro Eating which has organized some of the events Schuyler competed in.
Schuyler currently holds several All Pro Eating verified eating records including The World Pizza Eating Record, The World Fried Mushroom Eating Record and The World Hot Chicken Eating Record.
"Molly is All Pro Eating’s #1 ranked competitive eater in the world," says Greenwald.
After a competitive eat, Schuyler says she often feels tired. She did not reveal whether or not she has thrown up following an eating event.
"That’s disgusting," she says. "Thanks for asking." (Sorry.)
Schuyler says she is open to a lot of competitive eating events, but nothing too "slimy." Although she recently won a sushi eating competition in New York City – she ate 162 pieces – it wasn’t her favorite.
"I’ll try any food once, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat 15 pounds of it," she says.
Also while in New York, Schuyler consumed 40 bratwurst in eight minutes, setting a national record during the Bierhaus Eating Championship.
Greenwald says competitive eating is one of the most misunderstood activities and he believes it should be classified as a sport.
"There are a lot of arguments about why competitive eating should not be considered a sport and I would reply that if wood chopping, dog dancing and cheese rolling can be accepted as sports, certainly competitive eating should be also," says Greenwald.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.