Klete Keller, the American Olympic swimmer who one two gold medals as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps, was identified as one of the Trump supporters who was inside the Capitol last week during the riot that occurred during the Electoral College vote proceedings.
Popular swimming news website SwimSwam posted a report this week that alleged at least a dozen professional swimmers identified Keller due to the fact that he was wearing his US Olympic team jacket. The swimmers identified him after being sent a multitude of screenshots and videos from the riot.
Official USA Swimming did not respond when they were asked to confirm if the images from inside the Capitol were in fact Keller, but the images seemed relatively clear. Keller himself was recently reached out too by the press in order to get a confirmation or denial from the Olympic athlete but he has still yet to respond.
Keller currently works at a Colorado and Ohio-based real estate agency that was recently also contacted for a comment, however, the woman who answered the phone claimed that they “are not commenting on anything right now,” before hanging up.
One of the videos circulating online, that was taken by a conservative news reporter, shows the man who has been identified as Keller in a crowd of individuals that police officers were attempting to push towards any of the Capitol exits.
Keller has previously made headlines for more Olympic related reasons; such as when he held off Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe on the anchor leg of the 4×200 meter freestyle relay at the 2004 Athens Games, securing him and the US with a gold medal. He’s a five-time Olympic medalist in general and at the height of his career was one of the swimmers to watch at the Games.
SwimmingWorld is another professional swimmer news site that confirmed with sources that Keller was seen inside the US Capitol during the riot last week. The sources also claim that the videos where Keller is seen don’t show him acting violently in any way, however, the fact that he was present among a crowd of domestic terrorists who stormed one of the most historic government buildings in the US is incredibly disheartening for Olympic fans who believe that these athletes are meant to be upholding the sanctity of the US and its democracy, not actively trying to destroy it.
According to the New York Times Keller has deleted all of his social media accounts following the riot last week and the exposure of his involvement. In recent years Keller’s social media has apparently been saturated with pro-Trump rhetoric as well.
As most Americans have already seen last week Trump exhorted thousands of his supporters who were at the Capitol, not wearing masks or socially distancing, which prompted them to erupt in a riot of violence, vandalism, and domestic terror. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died as a result of the rampage, and the FBI and Department of Justice is currently investigating and making dozens of arrests in relation to last weeks dark day.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.