The list of insurrectionists that have been charged for their participation in the Capitol riot continues to grow and now includes a new category of person: former Olympian. On Wednesday, January 13, the New York Times reported that former Olympic gold medalist swimmer Klete Keller faces three federal charges for breaking into the Capitol building during the deadly riot last Wednesday.
While the level of Keller’s involvement in the Capitol riot is unclear, his charges include obstructing law enforcement and disorderly conduct. The six-foot-six Keller was initially identified via a video posted by Townhall, a conservative news outlet. At around the 14:37 mark, you can see a man wearing a “Team USA” jacket towering above the crowd with a face covering around his neck, leaving his face fully exposed. Keller’s presence in the Capitol Rotunda was first reported by swimming news site, SwimSwam, on Monday, and F.B.I agents reportedly used the publicly available footage and articles to ID him, confirming Keller’s identity with teammates and former coaches. Keller had been a vocal Trump supporter on his social-media accounts, which have since been deleted, and posted photos on Facebook of himself at an election protest in Washington in November.
Keller was a three-time Olympian, winning medals at all three Olympics. He won gold at the Athens Games in 2004 and the Beijing Games in 2008 as a member of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay teams with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. He also won a silver medal in the same event at the 2000 Sydney Games and two individual bronzes as well. For the past three years, Keller has worked at Colorado real-estate firm Hoff & Leigh. After Keller’s involvement in the riot was revealed, Hoff & Leigh announced that Keller had resigned “effective immediately,” and released the following statement: “Hoff & Leigh supports the right of free speech and lawful protest but we cannot condone actions that violate the rule of law.” Wow, only someone who has literally won gold at the Olympics would have the confidence to commit a federal crime with their face exposed while wearing the most exclusive and identifiable jacket known to man. Congratulations to Ryan Lochte for no longer being the dumbest member of the 2008 gold-medal-winning 4x200-meter freestyle relay team.