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Olympic Athletes to Meet National Zoo's Cheetah Cubs and Visitors

  • cheetah cubs playing

USA Track & Field Olympic sprinters Carmelita Jeter and Justin Gatlin will be at the Smithsonian's National Zoo this Thursday, Sept. 13, between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to meet the Zoo's two cheetah cubs, Carmelita and Justin. The athletes will also 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 their namesake 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.

Media should park in the bus parking lot and walk toward the Visitor Center to the Cheetah Conservation Station (View Zoo Map).

Note: This is a first-come, first-served event that will be popular. The Olympians will only be able to accommodate guests for one hour, which means that 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.