Klete Keller, Olympic Gold Medalist, Was in Crowd That Invaded Capitol

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, which might have obscured his identity, hung loosely around his neck, leaving his bearded face clearly visible.

Keller had worked in recent years as a real estate broker in Colorado Springs. His agency, Hoff & Leigh, confirmed he was employed there when contacted by SwimSwam, but by Monday night the company had removed Keller’s profile and nearly all references to him from its website.

Asked about Keller’s employment on Tuesday morning, a woman who answered the phone at the company said, “We can’t give out any information on that at this moment.” By Tuesday night, though, the firm had deleted its own Twitter account and emailed a statement to news organizations in which it said Keller had quit.

A cached version of Keller’s Hoff & Leigh contact page, though, included a biography that described Keller as a broker associate with three years of real estate experience. His career as an elite athlete, the company said, had made him “extremely driven.”

A call to a cellphone number for Keller listed on the page produced a message that he was not available.

Source link Nytimes.com

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