The new cheetah cubs at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo have been named after USA Track & Field Olympic sprinters Carmelita Jeter and Justin Gatlin.
Jeter and Gatlin will be at the Zoo this Thursday, Sept. 13, between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to meet their namesakes and sign autographs for visitors at the Cheetah Conservation Station.
When the two cubs debuted earlier this spring, the Zoo partnered with USA Track & Field to announce that the cubs would be named after the “fastest Americans.” Gatlin won the bronze medal in the men’s 100-meter sprint with a time of 9.79 seconds, and Jeter won the silver in the women’s 100-meter sprint with a time of 10.78 seconds.
These American heroes are making a special trip to the Zoo to meet the cubs and will spend an hour signing autographs. The first 450 guests (3 years of age and older) will receive cheetah cub cards perfect for autographs. Alternatively, a guest may bring one object to be autographed. The Olympians will sign only one object per guest.
The Olympians will only be able to accommodate guests for one hour, so there’s a chance not everyone will be able to get an autograph. To accommodate as many guests as possible, the athletes will not pause for photos.
For details visit the National Zoo’s website.
Photo by John McRay, Smithsonian’s National Zoo