Klete Keller, a champion swimmer who received two Olympic gold medals as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps, was recognized by former teammates and coaches as a member of the group 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 indicate the 6-foot-6 Keller towering over a crowd that was pushing and shoving with law enforcement officials who have been attempting to clear the Capitol Rotunda.
A number of former teammates and coaches stated they acknowledged Keller within the video due to his measurement and since he was sporting a U.S. Olympic crew jacket that had “USA” printed throughout the again and down the sleeves. A inexperienced face protecting 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 stated to have reported Keller to the authorities.
Efforts to achieve 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 stated, had lately included a stream of pro-Trump messaging.
No video has emerged of Keller taking part in any violent acts within the Capitol, however his mere presence within the constructing, if confirmed by the authorities, could 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 fees embody theft of presidency property and firearms violations.
Keller, 38, was a member of three U.S. Olympic groups, and he received 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 crew. He received silver within the occasion on the 2000 Sydney Video games.
A robust freestyler, Keller produced his signature second in 2004 in Athens. Days after profitable 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 crew, which included Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay.
Keller had labored lately 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 almost 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 stated, had made him “extraordinarily pushed.”
Requested about Keller’s employment, a girl who answered the telephone on the firm on Tuesday stated, “We are able to’t give out any data on that at this second.” A name to a cellphone quantity for Keller returned a message that he was not accessible.