Olympic gold medal winner American swimmer Klete Keller was identified being among the mob that stormed the Capitol last week. Keller, 38, can be seen in a new set of photos and videos and has been identified by more than a dozen people within the sport, according to authorities.
Keller won gold twice as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps, and was easily identified during the rampage. At least two videos show Keller inside the Capitol wearing a Team USA swimming jacket. However, Keller could not be reached over phone and he reportedly has deleted his social media accounts, several of which included a stream of pro-Trump messaging in recent years.
Swimming With the Tide
According to reports, the man seen in Team USA swimming jacket in the videos is none other than Keller. Swimming website SwimSwam claimed that at least a dozen people within the sport identified Keller as a bearded man seen in the clip. Swimming World magazine published a similar report on its site, based on anonymous sources.
In the first video taken by Townhall reporter Julio Rosas, the 6-feet-6-inches athlete can be seen towering over others and tussling with on-duty officers beneath the Capitol Rotunda. He is seen in the Team USA swimming jacket here. The New York Times also said Keller was in the crowd at the Capitol, according to "former teammates and coaches" who identified him in photos.
"That is Klete," Rutemiller said in an email. "I have confirmed," Brent Rutemiller, chief executive of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and publisher of Swimming World, told The Arizona Republic after going through the photos and videos on social media. However, he did not elaborate on why he was certain of Keller's identity. In another video, Keller can be seen standing calmly in the Rotunda holding a bottle of water.
Playing a Different Game
Although both the videos reportedly capture Keller inside the Capitol on Wednesday night, none show him acting in a violent manner. However, several people who entered the building have been charged with unlawful entry and disorderly conduct.
Post his retirement from swimming, Keller is said to have been working as a real estate agent. Until Tuesday, Keller was listed as a real estate agent with Hoff & Leigh in Colorado. But surprisingly the company issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying Keller, an independent contractor, had resigned. The company also declined to comment on the issue.
Keller represented his country in three Olympics — 2000, 2004 and 2008. He is a five-time Olympic medalist who held off Australian great Ian Thorpe on the anchor leg of the 4x200m freestyle relay at the 2004 Athens Games to win gold for the United States.
He won two gold medals, both of which came in the 800m freestyle relays in 2004 and 2008. Besides, he bagged two bronze medals and one silver medal. He also set the American record for the 400m freestyle in 2004 and the world record for the 800m relay in 2007. Both records have since been broken.