Olympics|Olympic Gold Medalist Was Part of Crowd That Invaded Capitol
Klete Keller, who won swimming medals in three Summer Games, was captured on video inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda during last week’s violent election protest.
Supporters of President Trump were inside the Rotunda after storming the U.S. Capitol.Credit…Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock
- Jan. 12, 2021, 12:39 p.m. ET
Klete Keller, a champion swimmer who won two Olympic gold medals as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps, was identified by former teammates and coaches as a member of the crowd that surged into the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Wednesday.
A video posted by a reporter from a conservative outlet, Townhall, appeared to show the 6-foot-6 Keller towering over a crowd that was pushing and shoving with police officers who were trying to clear the Capitol Rotunda.
Several former teammates and coaches said they recognized Keller in the video because of his size and because he was wearing a U.S. Olympic team jacket that had “USA” printed across the back and down the sleeves. A green face covering hung around his neck, making his face clearly visible.
A swimming news site, SwimSwam, first reported Keller’s presence at the Capitol riot on Monday. The video had been circulating in the swimming community since last week, and several people who saw it are said to have reported Keller to the authorities.
Efforts to reach Keller were unsuccessful.
Few of the people who recognized Keller in the video expressed surprise at his presence in Washington. His deleted social media accounts, several of them said, had in recent years included a stream of pro-Trump messaging.
No video has emerged of Keller participating in any violent acts in the Capitol, but his mere presence in the building,