Since the insurrection took place at the Capitol on January 6 new photos and videos of those who participated keep popping up online.
One of the many videos making its way across social media platforms is a shot of police attempting to clear the Capitol Rotunda. The video was captured by journalist Julia Rosas.
In the video, a tall man wearing a US Olympic jacket can clearly be seen. The man was quickly identified as 6’6” Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller.
Keller can clearly be seen with his back to the police and his arms at his sides as officers attempt to move rioters toward the exits.
In another video, Keller can be seen standing calmly in the Rotunda holding a bottle of water.
Donald Trump has pushed false allegations of voter fraud since losing the 2020 presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden.
On Wednesday Trump addressed his supporters at the “Stop the Steal” rally where he again pushed false claims of voter fraud and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and stop Congress from verifying the Electoral College votes.
Around 2 p.m. on Wednesday pro-Trump supporters breached the Capitol building.
The U.S. Capitol Police described the chaos in a press release the following day stating that “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 the Capitol Building by causing great damage.”
The violence resulted in five deaths, which included a Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick who was hit with a fire extinguisher “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 through tunnels and others were ordered to shelter in place. Not one time during the ordeal did Donald Trump contact anyone involved to check on their safety and that includes his vice president.
After Keller was identified he was condemned online and ended up deleting his social media accounts. Before taking his accounts down Keller was an extremely vocal Trump supporter.
In 2001, Keller attended USC but he left to focus only on swimming. He was trained by 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.
Today, Keller works as an independent contractor for 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.”
After discovering Keller’s participation in the riot Hoff and Leigh terminated Keller,
Hoff and Leigh released a statement in which it stated 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 won a total of 5 Olympic medals in the three 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
Reportedly, Keller struggled to adjust to life after the Olympics. At one time he stated that swimming had set high expectations for his success which backfired in the work setting as it caused frustration. He also stated that for a while his Olympic success made him feel entitled.
“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.”
His life spiraled out of control for a while and in 2014 after a divorce, he found himself homeless. He lived in his car for close to 10 months and he lost visitation rights to see his children for more than four years.
“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 said of his life at that time.
Keller then shared 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.
Today, Keller has to be accountable for his most recent actions. He played a role in the insurrection in a building that is a symbol of our nation’s democracy.
The FBI is carrying out investigations to identify the individuals involved. Keller has not been arrested yet, but chances are law enforcement will get to him and the former Olympian could be facing jail time.