Olympic Gold Medalist Klete Keller in US Capitol During Clashes, Video Shows

by Annika Johnson 482

January 11th, 2021 National, News

On Wednesday, January 6th, a group of pro-Trump supporters led an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol just before Congress was able to vote on certifying the 2020 presidential election results. These results named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the President-elect and Vice President-elect of the United States, respectively.

Among the many videos of the riot that were posted to social media is one of police trying to clear the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. This footage was taken by Townhall reporter Julio Rosas.

A tall man in that video can be seen wearing a US Olympic Team jacket as police attempt to clear the Rotunda. At least a dozen people within the sport have identified that individual to SwimSwam as the 6’6” Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller after reviewing the video and screenshots.

Screenshot from Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

Screenshot from Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

Screenshot from Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

Screenshot from Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

In the video, the man that appears to be Keller can be seen with his back to police and his arms at his side as the officers move the crowd towards the exits.

In another video by the same reporter, Keller can be seen standing calmly in the Rotunda holding a bottle of water.

Since the election results were first announced in early November, they have been contested by the sitting President, Donald Trump, and his supporters in Congress and throughout the country. On Wednesday, congressional Republicans issued their final challenges to the Electoral College votes. Then, Congress was set to count and confirm the Electoral College votes of each state, thereby rubber-stamping the results and setting accusations of election fraud to rest.

However, around 2 pm, before Congressional voting could take place, the mob breached the Capitol building. The U.S. Capitol Police described the chaos that ensued in a press release the next day:“These individuals actively attacked United States Capitol Police Officers and other uniformed law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers. They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage.”

The violence resulted in five deaths, including the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick who was reportedly “injured while physically engaging with protesters.” Four rioters died as well, one of whom was shot by Capitol Police as she tried to climb through a broken window. Members of Congress were evacuated from the most vulnerable areas of the building, and many were ordered to shelter in place in the House Chamber for hours while the Capitol Police struggled with the rioters.

Keller has deleted all of his social media accounts, but prior to their deletion, he was an outspoken supporter of President Trump.

Keller attended USC in 2000 and 2001 before he left to focus on swimming. He then trained under head coach Bob Bowman and former head coach Jon Urbanchek at Club Wolverine and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before returning to USC in 2007 to finish his bachelor’s degree in Science and Public Policy. He finished his collegiate career under USC and Trojan Swim Club head coach Dave Salo.

Post-college, Keller now works as an independent contractor for the Colorado and Ohio-based real estate agency Hoff and Leigh where he “spends his time advising industrial landlords and sellers on maximizing the value of their industrial asset.” On Monday morning, SwimSwam called Hoff and Leigh to verify Keller’s employment there. They responded that he was a current employee, and they seemed unaware of the Capitol video or of Keller’s possible involvement in the riot.

Update: On Tuesday afternoon, Hoff and Leigh released a statement saying that Keller is no longer with the company and has resigned. “Hoff & Leigh supports the right of free speech and lawful protest,” the company wrote. “But we cannot condone actions that violate the rule of law.”

“We pride ourselves on our deeply held core values of family, loyalty, community and stewardship. We continue to stand by these values.”

Keller has won a total of 5 Olympic medals over the course of 3 Olympic Games at which he represented Team USA:

  • 2000 – bronze, 400m free
  • 2000 – silver, 800m free relay
  • 2004 – gold, 800m free relay
  • 2004 – bronze, 400m free
  • 2008 – gold, 800m free relay

He set the former American record in the 400 free at the 2004 Olympics and the former American and World records in the 800 free relay at the 2007 World Championships. 

Keller struggled to adjust to post-Olympic life after 2008. He told the Olympic Channel podcast how swimming had set high expectations for his success which backfired in the work setting as it caused frustration. He explained how his past victories in the pool also made him feel “entitled” at first. 

“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,” Keller said. “Once things started going south…I lost that enthusiasm.” 

This struggle spiraled into all aspects of his life, culminating in the “reality check” which he pinpointed as the day he became homeless. In 2014, he and his wife got divorced, after which he lived out of his car for about 10 months. In an interview with USA Swimming, Keller explained that he did not have visitation rights to see his children for 4 years.

He described the reality behind what seemed like a sharp turn in his life. “It’s a slow leadup of shirking responsibility, and just letting the little things slide every day…it eventually builds a critical mass and once that critical mass is built it’s that last final straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Keller told the Olympic Channel. He detailed his outlook on life getting “lower and lower.” 

Keller then talked about his gradual comeback after receiving “love and acceptance from his family,” specifically his sister and 2004 Olympian Kalyn Keller who took him in. He worked through this time by teaching swim lessons and running swim clinics.

He is most notably remembered in the pool for anchoring the 800 free relay at the 2004 Olympics where he went head-to-head with Australia’s Ian Thorpe, ultimately fending him off by .13 seconds and earning Team USA a gold medal.

Across the country, people are demanding accountability for the rioters’ insurrection on a building that is such a distinctive symbol of American democracy – where our laws are created and where presidential inaugurations take place. No known arrests were reported on-site, however, the FBI is carrying out an ongoing investigation which took to Twitter on Thursday to help them identify individuals who “unlawfully entered the U.S. Capitol on January 6.” The New York Times reported that “dozens have been charged” since then, and the FBI has received over 40,000 tips in photos and videos alone. Tips submitted over the phone were not included in that number. 

According to the Washington Post, the rioters who breached the Capitol can be charged with multiple crimes including seditious conspiracy (the law states that this includes anyone who attempts “to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess, any property of the United States contrary to the authority of”), unlawful entry, damaging federal property, and terrorism (due to pipe bombs found at the scene.)

Members of Congress, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, place accountability with President Trump as well. Pelosi has called for President Trump’s impeachment due to remarks he made the morning of January 6 in a video he posted to social media. He told rioters, “We love you, you’re very special,” while also telling them to leave the Capitol. Trump has yet to face those legal and political charges, but social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have suspended his accounts. Twitter argued they took this action “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Ultimately, the attempt to hinder the certification of the Electoral College votes was unsuccessful. At 6 pm, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew enforced by police in riot gear and the National Guard. They were able to move the mob away from the building, allowing business to resume in the Capitol that evening. Both sides of the bipartisan system denounced the violence. 15 hours after the mob breached the Capitol, at about 3:30 am, it was official – the election results were certified.

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youknow
13 days ago

what a beast. trump 2020

swimmer
Reply to  youknow
13 days ago

bruh

Last edited 13 days ago by swimmer
Wendy Sturdevant
Reply to  swimmer
10 days ago

What a way togo Klete. Who name you!! Looks like your career is over. 1) you will have to wear something besides a swimsuit. Is orange your color? and 2) as far as I know they don’t have swimming pools in federal prison. Nice to “f” up a career. MORON

Trumpublic
Reply to  Wendy Sturdevant
10 days ago

Come on People, Be patriots and respect what he did for the country

Russel Germain
Reply to  Trumpublic
4 days ago

Respect? He committed treason against his country!

swimfan
Reply to  Wendy Sturdevant
9 days ago

yes, his actions were dumb however pretty sure he retired

leisurely1:29
Reply to  youknow
13 days ago

Trump will be forever synonymous with the year 2020… and that’s not something to be proud of.

Backstrokebro
Reply to  youknow
12 days ago

Bruh it’s literally 2021

Bodyman
Reply to  Backstrokebro
11 days ago

Bruh…you’re just plain stupid.

blabla
Reply to  Backstrokebro
11 days ago

literally literally literallyliterallyliterallyliterallyliterallyliterallyliterallyliterally

Anonymous
Reply to  youknow
12 days ago

Finally getting the down votes these comments deserve.

Swammer
Reply to  Anonymous
12 days ago

Luckily a free society doesn’t determine what you can say based on up or down votes.

VikingMan
Reply to  Swammer
12 days ago

And if it did, “special” people would just call it fake news and carry on with their ignorance.

alex
Reply to  youknow
12 days ago

1) not a beast for committing a federal crime, but sure, go off
2) it’s not even 2020 anymore
3) trump lost. very officially.
4) good luck coping with reality!

Bodyman
Reply to  alex
11 days ago

The commenter “youKnow” isn’t the one that said it and we know what “leisurely” meant by his post about 2020.

Last edited 11 days ago by Bodyman
Armchair
Reply to  youknow
12 days ago

You’ve got to be extremely low on brain power and personal integrity to support a man
as thoroughly vile–in every way–and dangerous to this country as Trump. Seriously,
anybody who believes any of his election-fraud nonsense is beyond hope. He’s a gangster–
and a sinister, deranged man.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Armchair
11 days ago

Anyone who believes in voter fraud doesn’t have two functioning brain cells. The checks within the system are incredible. Right wing America is nothing but Simplistic Angry Males spewing nonsense to each other and being ignorant and gullible enough to believe it. It goes far beyond Trump. There is no such thing as both sides. Both sides has been gone longer than Johnny Weissmuller. One side is nothing but runaway lies and stupidity. Trump supporters magically turn into Antifa during a two block walk to the Capitol Building, but somehow Trump supporters are the only ones brilliant enough to film themselves during the act. Antifa obviously vaporized because none were caught trying to fly back, even though some are on… Read more »

jackJill
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
11 days ago

Thats just too simplistic. For starter, I think trump should impeached again and also face a legal investigation for the amount of money grifting to his own company let alone basically making his administration about TRUMP first, not america first. When the republican in alaska said she didn’t like his demenor,he said he’ll campaign for anyone good or bad over her. He never cared much except getting praise and I gotta say I’m disappointed in my country for buying the con. That said, Trump is the tip of the iceberg. There are definitely fringe supporter who are racist and terrible and trump is sociopathic that if it benefits him he doesn’t seem to care. But we need to see why… Read more »

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
9 days ago

Who was it that said “Our election was hijacked. There is no question. Congress has a duty to #ProtectOurDemocracy & #FollowTheFacts.”

If I’m not mistaken it was the speaker of the house in 2016. Does she have two functioning brain cells?

Bob Hatch
Reply to  Irish Ringer
8 days ago

Speaker of the House 2016 was Paul Ryan (R), Wisconsin

bidenisafraud
Reply to  Armchair
9 days ago

Obama?

gkjhdslks
Reply to  youknow
12 days ago

im proud of swimswam for giving this 700+ dislikes lol

Wendy Sturdevant
Reply to  gkjhdslks
10 days ago

Make that 700++

swammer
Reply to  gkjhdslks
4 days ago

1.6k!

Chels
Reply to  youknow
11 days ago

sounds like his bad decisions in life set him up to be a Trump supporter. Once again blaming others for his unhappy life

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
Reply to  youknow
11 days ago

1107 dislikes – got to be a record? Braden, Jared?

ytho
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
10 days ago

1.4k LOL

swimfan210_
Reply to  ytho
10 days ago

This is crazy. Upvote record is 1200 something from a live recap. Makes me wonder how many people came here from outside of Swimswam (this article got linked on other news sites reports)

Jackson Kaye
Reply to  youknow
9 days ago

Most downvotes ever?

KnG
13 days ago

not sure “critical mass” has meet him.

NONA
13 days ago

Messy divorce, custody issues, professional failures… guarantee a lot of dudes at the Capitol on Wednesday can check the same boxes

Ferb
Reply to  NONA
12 days ago

…Although most of them were evacuated around the time the protestors entered the building.

hambone
Reply to  Ferb
12 days ago

“Prostestors” not the right label.

Patriot
Reply to  hambone
11 days ago

hambone – you’re probably the same one that said that burning buildings down, looting, and beating police officers is “peaceful protesting” am I right?!

Meeeeeee
Reply to  NONA
12 days ago

Former libs who see the light (ie reverse woke)

Larry Wheels
Reply to  NONA
12 days ago

Society rejects truth-seekers.

michael c
Reply to  Larry Wheels
12 days ago

I replied with an article showing that the “viking” guy was part of Q and not antifa as they were saying, everyone blocked and continued to try to spread the misinformation. “Truth-seekers” my ass. Waving Trump flags instead of american flags too.

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  NONA
12 days ago

Probably and the same goes for those who looted, rioted and burned down businesses.

Armchair
Reply to  Troll Longhorn
12 days ago

False equivalency. BLM protests were about a legit issue. Capitol insurrection had no legitimacy–
a bunch of idiots unable or unwilling to realize that they’ve been played by Trump since the election
and for four years. Trump used the red herring of Democratic election fraud to try and steal the election.
He accused the Dems of doing what he, in fact, was doing. He’s a transparent liar to anyone with a brain.

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  Armchair
12 days ago

Doesn’t matter if the issue was legit it doesn’t justify the violence. Do you think the federal officers blinded by lasers aimed at them from BLM were ok with it because it was apparently a legit issue?

Tea
Reply to  Troll Longhorn
12 days ago

What’s your source for the “lasers”?

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Tea
12 days ago

I remember that from this summer. A quick search will turn up multiple articles about it if you search for Portland, FBI, eye injuries. The DHS said there were 113 injuries.

Desert Dao
Reply to  Troll Longhorn
11 days ago

Source links?

MaryJo
Reply to  Desert Dao
11 days ago

Wanna take odds on it being YouTube or Gateway Pundit as a “source”?

MaryJo
Reply to  Desert Dao
11 days ago

Only thing I could find is claims from the WH like Barr (clearly not a very credible source, and it was a total of 3 officers whose eyesight was affected… and none permanently.

ike
Reply to  Troll Longhorn
9 days ago

There’s a huge difference between Black folks’ (and their supporters’) anger over the long history of Black Americans being murdered by cops for no reason (and anger that it continued even during the demonstrations) and White fascist Trumpists who are mad because they think Trump was cheated out of his election victory. (It’s easy to fact-check that Trump was NOT cheated).

And there’s a big difference between burning down a cop shop. — over a legitimate life and death issue, specifically murder-by-cop — and invading the Capitol building (which was motivated by false beliefs that are easily fact-checked).

Ferb
Reply to  Armchair
12 days ago

“Violence and rioting are justifiable if you agree with the premise.” -Armchair

Last edited 12 days ago by Ferb
Doconc
Reply to  Armchair
12 days ago

Ludicrous take. 2 billion in damage and over 75 dead. Legit?? No

Caleb
Reply to  Doconc
12 days ago

Sit down – your number is 3x too high and almost of all those people were killed by counterprotestors, i.e. the same maniac losers who attacked the Capitol and tried to overthrown the government.. this article took about 10 seconds to find but there are plenty. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/31/americans-killed-protests-political-unrest-acled#:~:text=At%20least%2025%20Americans%20were%20killed%20during%20protests%20and%20political%20unrest%20in%202020,-Protest

Ringo Gilkey
Reply to  Caleb
11 days ago

It may be just a small thing. But, I want to thank you for your information. Facts matter. Even to those demented wackos who buy Trumps delusional act. Problem is that most of them are intellectually lazy and can’t or won’t accept the truth

Steven
Reply to  Armchair
11 days ago

It’s all they’ve got, so they’re clinging to this false equivalency. So sad. Rioting because you hate centuries of oppression when a video appears of a white cop kneeling on (another) black man’s neck for 9.5 minutes, Compared to following a false claim of “fraud” which has been debunked by 60 judges, many republican, and zero proof… yeah – not the same… but it’s literally all they’ve got. Thank goodness many are going to (or already in) jail. This same stupid #BLM was worse claim is voiced by every R in my family and today by the shitstain in Tx. So sad.

El D
Reply to  Steven
11 days ago

There is no evidence that the man was killed because of his color. The police officer could have treated a white man the same way. We never know, maybe he himself does not know. If you say that black people are more often victims of police violence, that does not mean that his being black caused this particular incident. But of course it gives a better excuse to start rioting if you see all actions in terms of racism.

Tallguy
Reply to  Armchair
11 days ago

Who made you the arbiter of what cause is more worthy?

Chels
Reply to  Troll Longhorn
11 days ago

stellar Whataboutism

Armchair
Reply to  NONA
12 days ago

Eighty percent of Trump supporters are rednecks–fact–and most are young rednecks.
Not exactly the best and the brightest.

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  Armchair
12 days ago

75 million votes and you’re claiming 60 million are rednecks and stating that as fact? I don’t think there’s that many in the US.

Ringo Gilkey
Reply to  Troll Longhorn
11 days ago

It troubles me that so many Americans have been duped by one of the great con artists of all time. Don’t they realize that Trump looks after the millionaires like him and couldn’t give the time of day to the average American. All he can do is lie and cheat. Buying into his act is a sign of human failure.

Trojans
Reply to  Troll Longhorn
11 days ago

There are 115 million americans in the south, more than 2/3s of them are out in rural and suburban areas. Guess that Texas education isn’t doing you any favors lmao.

lcb
Reply to  Armchair
12 days ago

While I abhor Trump and the extremists who are part of his base, to paint 80% of his supporters with a single brush is not fair, nor is it likely accurate. Plus, your generalizations smack of classism, which is not a good look.

Vanilla Gorilla
Reply to  lcb
11 days ago

Maybe, but it is really disheartening that so many can’t see through the con, I’d guess about half. The same one’s pushing COVID as a hoax on this site. The other half could see through it but the lake house and jet ski budget are more import than democracy in their mind. Never forget those in your life that enabled this autocrat.

Desert Dao
Reply to  lcb
11 days ago

LOL. You apparently don’t live in the south or midwest where his mouthbreathing followers look like rejects from the banjo porch scene in “Deliverance”

Bodyman
Reply to  NONA
11 days ago

Yep…in other words he was like most of Trumps supporters are…Losers! People who have made a mess of their personal lives and are looking for someone to blame.

Joe Snodgrass
Reply to  NONA
11 days ago

Those kind of things are hard to take, but how did they happen, and who was responsible for it happening. Sounds like he did a poor job and may have let go. Regardless, he has to take some responsibility. Hope things work out for him and his family, but I doubt breaking into the Capitol is going to be much help. Sure did not disguise himself very well.