A mob stormed the United States Capitol in January, forcing their way into the building and ransacking several offices. Several videos and photos began circulating in the immediate aftermath that allegedly showed Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller taking part in the Capitol riot. Several people reportedly identified him by his stature, as well as his Team USA jacket. Authorities then charged Keller with obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
There were several people aware of Keller's past with the Olympic team, but they did not have all of the information. Many began researching his life and career in order to learn more about his background. Others began calling for Keller to face serious charges for his actions and spend time behind bars. Here is important information to know about Keller.
Keller appeared at a virtual U.S. District Court hearing in March while facing seven charges. He issued a not guilty plea, according to USA Today. His lawyer, Edward MacMahon, declined to offer any additional comments about the case or the incident at the Capitol. He is set to appear in court again in April.prevnext
Time in Real Estate
STATEMENT FROM HOFF & LEIGH pic.twitter.com/W37zNDfYiE— Hoff & Leigh (@HoffLeigh) January 13, 2021
Keller won two gold medals in his Olympic career, as well as a silver medal, before pursuing a major change in his life. He began working for a Colorado real estate firm, Hoff & Leigh, a tenure that lasted roughly three years. The company made an announcement in the wake of the Capitol riot, saying that Keller had resigned "effective immediately" on Jan. 12, 2021. "Hoff & Leigh supports the right of free speech and lawful protest, but we cannot condone actions that violate the rule of law," the firm said in a statement.prevnext
Swimming for USC
Prior to becoming a prominent figure as a member of the U.S. Olympic team, Keller attended the University of Southern California and swam for the Trojans. He was on campus in 2000 and 2001 but decided to leave school early. He put all of his attention on his swimming career and competing in the Olympics. Although Keller did return to USC in 2007 to complete his Bachelors of Science in Public Policy.prevnext
Following his time at USC, Keller competed in the 2004 Olympic Games. He joined the U.S. team in Athens, Greece, and partnered with Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Peter Vanderkaay for the 4x200-meter relay. Keller served as the final swimmer in the event and outpaced the Australian team to win the gold medal. This win marked the first time in more than seven years that the Australian team had failed to win a gold medal.prevnext
Keller's third trip to the Summer Olympics was in 2008. He competed in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay as part of the U.S. team, but he only swam in the heats. He joined Phelps, Lochte, Ricky Berens, Vanderkaay, Erik Vendt, and David Walters for the event and received the second gold medal of his career. The U.S. team took the win over other top squads from Russia (silver) and Australia (bronze).prevnext
The First Medal
Keller was a key part of the U.S. team during the 2000 Summer Games in Australia. He competed during the 4x200-meter freestyle alongside Jamie Rauch, Josh Davis, and Scott Goldblatt. The United States won the silver medal with a time of 7:12.64, falling just behind Ian Thorpe and the Australian team. The Netherlands rounded out the top three. Keller also competed in the 400-meter freestyle event and won the bronze medal.prevnext
Keller won five medals during his Olympic career — two gold, two bronze, and one silver — walking away as one of the biggest names in the sport. However, struggled during his post-swimming career. He was actually homeless for 10 months and lived in his car. He also went through a divorce and lost his job.
"I was paying child support for my kids and couldn’t afford a place, so I lived in my car for almost a year," Keller said in an interview. "I had a Ford Fusion at the time, so at 6-foot-6, it was challenging to make the room to sleep. But I made it work."prev