Capitol Mob Included a Gold Medal Winner

Klete Keller was wearing his Olympic team jacket
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2021 4:16 PM CST
Klete Keller, Olympic Swimming Champion, Was in Capitol Mob
The USA Men's 4x200m Freestyle relay team members, from left, Peter Vanderkaay, Klete Keller, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps sing the national anthem on the podium after winning the gold medal at the World Swimming Championships in Australia in 2007.   (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

(Newser) – The mob that attacked the US Capitol last week included a swimmer who won two Olympic gold medals for his country. Former teammates and coaches picked Klete Keller out of the crowd on a video posted online, the New York Times reports. Not only was his face uncovered and visible in the video, but Keller, who is 6-foot-6, was wearing a US Olympic team jacket. He was on three Olympic teams, winning medals each time, per SwimSwam: a silver and bronze in 2000, a gold and bronze in 2004, and a gold in 2008. In Athens in 2004, the championship 400-meter freestyle relay team included Michael Phelps swimming the first leg and Keller the anchor leg.

None of the video available shows Keller doing anything violent while in the Capitol; others in the mob have been charged with crimes such as unlawful entry and disorderly conduct. His social media accounts have been deleted, but people who know him say they contained frequent messages of support for President Trump. Keller, 38, has been working as a real estate agent in Colorado Springs, but the agency he worked for has erased him from its website. He told the Olympic Channel podcast that he felt entitled after his Olympic success and struggled outside sports, becoming homeless at one point. "I'll be honest I wasn’t a good employee ... for the longest time because I expected it all to come to me as easily as swimming did," he said. (Read more Capitol attack stories.)

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