Olympics: Whimsy

National zoo cheetahs take on familiar names

The National Zoo's cheetah cubs will be named after Carmelita Jeter and Justin Gatlin. (T.J. Kirkpatrick -- Getty Images)

Back in April, the National Zoo welcomed a pair of cheetah cubs, born at the zoo’s facility in Front Royal. But until this week, they did not have names.

Now, with the completion of the men’s and women’s 100-meter races at the Olympics, they do: Carmelita and Justin. The female cub is named after Carmelita Jeter, the American who won silver in the women’s 100 on Saturday night in London. The male cub is named after Justin Gatlin, the former Olympic champion who took bronze in the same event Sunday night.

From the zoo’s release, “The decision to name the cubs after the fastest Americans is part of a broader National Zoo Games campaign to celebrate the finest animal athletes.”

Boris Johnson’s zipper

As we discussed earlier, London Mayor Boris Johnson is a great promoter of his hometown games, and now he has achieved a whole new stature by becoming stuck on a zip line above Victoria Park while clutching two Union Jack flags.

Johnson makes news almost daily, from claiming that Englishmen invented ping pong to extolling the virtues of beach volleyball players competing in the rain like “wet otters.” The man has no vanity, as you can see.

Johnson strapped himself into a harness and rode the contraption, a steel cable suspended in the treetops and operated by a pulley, until it came to a halt above cheerful Londoners strolling and picnicking in the park neighboring the main Olympic grounds.

“Can you get me a rope?” he asked.