Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller appears to be at Capitol riot in video
Footage taken at the siege captures a maskless Keller wearing his Team USA jacket inside the Capitol rotunda.
A video from the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol appears to show a two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist participating in the riots that left four dead.
Klete Keller is seen maskless — and wearing his Team USA jacket — inside the Capitol Rotunda.
“[W]e respect private individuals’ and groups’ rights to peacefully protest but in no way condone the actions taken by those at the Capitol last week,” a USA Swimming spokesperson told ESPN on Tuesday.
Several of his former teammates and coaches recognized him in the video, according to New York Times reporting, and people who know Keller were not surprised by his participation in the event, its story asserts.
Olympic gold medal swimmer Klete Keller has been identified in this video. The athlete, who was spotted in this clip by former teammates, was wearing a U.S. Olympic team jacket. pic.twitter.com/SL1gUpSiih— 🎙Dr. Comments-A-Lot 🇺🇸🇨🇺 (@WDCreports) January 13, 2021
Keller competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics. In 2004, he won gold.
After the end of his swimming career, Keller worked at a real estate firm in Colorado. That firm, Hoff & Leigh, announced that he had resigned “effective immediately” following his identification in the deadly insurrection.
“Hoff & Leigh supports the right of free speech and lawful protest but we cannot condone actions that violate the rule of law,” company officials said in a statement. The firm has been so besieged with contact from media and concerned citizens, they purged their website with almost all images of Keller and deleted their Twitter account.
Despite his identification in footage from the insurrection, the 38-year-old former swimming champion has not yet been arrested and is not seen on any public video engaging in violent acts. However, other insurgents have been charged with unlawful entry and disorderly conduct.
Keller, a freestyle swimmer, was part of a historic American swim team that featured Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte and set world records. He’s been credited with holding off Ian Thorpe of Australia and helping the U.S. team capture Olympic gold.
Last week’s video of Keller inside the Capitol Building was originally shared on SwimSwam, a website that writes news about the professional and amateur swimming communities.