Olympic Gold Medalist Was Part of Crowd That Invaded Capitol

Klete Keller, a champion swimmer who gained two Olympic gold medals as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps, was recognized by former teammates and coaches as a member of the gang that surged into the U.S. Capitol throughout violent protests on Wednesday.

A video posted by a reporter from a conservative outlet, Townhall, appeared to point out the 6-foot-6 Keller towering over a crowd that was pushing and shoving with cops who have been attempting to clear the Capitol Rotunda.

A number of former teammates and coaches mentioned they acknowledged Keller within the video due to his dimension and since he was carrying a U.S. Olympic workforce jacket that had “USA” printed throughout the again and down the sleeves. A inexperienced face masking hung round his neck, making his face clearly seen.

A swimming information website, SwimSwam, first reported Keller’s presence on the Capitol riot on Monday. The video had been circulating within the swimming group since final week, and a number of other individuals who noticed it are mentioned to have reported Keller to the authorities.

Efforts to succeed in Keller have been unsuccessful.

Few of the individuals who acknowledged Keller within the video expressed shock at his presence in Washington. His deleted social media accounts, a number of of them mentioned, had in recent times included a stream of pro-Trump messaging.

No video has emerged of Keller collaborating in any violent acts within the Capitol, however his mere presence within the constructing, if confirmed by the authorities, might have positioned him in authorized jeopardy. Quite a few individuals who entered the constructing now face federal charges that embody illegal entry and disorderly conduct. Extra critical prices embody theft of presidency property and firearms violations.

Keller, 38, was a member of three U.S. Olympic groups, and he gained medals at three Olympics, together with golds on the Athens Video games in 2004 and on the Beijing Video games in 2008 as a member of the 4×200-meter relay workforce. He gained silver within the occasion on the 2000 Sydney Video games.

A strong freestyler, Keller produced his signature second in 2004 in Athens. Days after successful a second straight bronze medal within the 400-meter freestyle, Keller gained a measure of revenge when he held off the gold medalist, Ian Thorpe of Australia, on the anchor leg of the relay closing. Phelps swam the leadoff leg for the American workforce, which included Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay.

Keller had labored in recent times as an actual property agent in Colorado Springs. His company, Hoff & Leigh, confirmed he was employed there when contacted by SwimSwam, however by Monday night time the corporate had eliminated Keller’s profile and practically all references to him from its web site.

A cached model of his Hoff & Leigh contact web page included a biography that described Keller as a dealer affiliate with three years of actual property expertise. His profession as an elite athlete, the corporate mentioned, had made him “extraordinarily pushed.”

Requested about Keller’s employment, a girl who answered the telephone on the firm on Tuesday mentioned, “We will’t give out any info on that at this second.” A name to a cellphone quantity for Keller returned a message that he was not accessible.

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