Tuesday afternoon, videos and photos began circulating on social media that allegedly showed Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller taking part in the Capitol riot. Former teammates and coaches then identified him due to his stature, as well as the Team USA-branded jacket he wore. One day later, authorities charged Keller with obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
When people learned that Keller was involved in the Capitol riot, they began striving to learn more about his career. Some Twitter users knew that he previously partnered with other high-profile swimmers but didn't know to what extent. They quickly learned that Keller had secured three Olympic medals in three trips to the Summer Games. Here is everything else we know about him.
STATEMENT FROM HOFF & LEIGH pic.twitter.com/W37zNDfYiE— Hoff & Leigh (@HoffLeigh) January 13, 2021
Following his trips to the Summer Olympics as a member of the U.S. team, Keller made a career change. He began working for a Colorado real estate firm, Hoff & Leigh. However, his tenure with the company came to an end after three years. The company announced 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
BREAKING: Klete Keller, the Olympic gold medalist swimmer from USC pictured in the U.S. Capitol during last week's riot, has been charged in U.S. District Court in D.C. @wusa9 @WUSA9sports pic.twitter.com/939jitTq7A— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) January 13, 2021
Prior to becoming a prominent figure as a member of the U.S. Olympic team, Keller attended the University of Southern California for two years. He was on campus in 2000 and 2001 but ultimately left school early to focus on his swimming career. He did ultimately return to the university in 2007 to complete his Bachelors of Science in Public Policy.prevnext
Keller returned to the Summer Olympics in 2004, heading to Athens as part of the U.S. team once again. He partnered with Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay for the 4x200-meter relay while serving as the final swimmer in the event. He outpaced the Australian team to deliver a 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 took place in 2008. He joined the U.S. men's team once again and competed in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. Although Keller only took part 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 edged out Russia (silver) and Australia (bronze) during the relay.prevnext
Keller's first trip to the Summer Olympics took place in 2000. He was part of the 4x200-meter freestyle team, joining Jamie Rauch, Josh Davis and Scott Goldblatt in the water. The team secured the silver medal with a time of 7:12.64, falling just behind the Australian team headlined by Ian Thorpe. The Netherlands secured the bronze medal during the relay event.prevnext
Swimming World, a go-to outlet for aquatic sports, previously highlighted Keller during his swimming career. The magazine put him on the cover two separate times, adding him to a list of 600 high-profile swimmers. Now the outlet is reporting on his involvement in the Capitol riots while publishing statements from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
"I strongly condemn the actions of the rioters at the U.S. Capitol. They do not represent the values of the United States of America or of Team USA," U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a statement. "At home, and around the world, Team USA athletes are held to a very high standard as they represent our country on the field of play and off. What happened in Washington, D.C., was a case where that standard was clearly not met. The people involved attacked the very fabric of the democracy we all proudly represent and, in turn, also let our community down."prevnext
An Olympic gold medal with #Phelps in 2004, to homeless...living in his car.— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) July 13, 2018
What happened to @TeamUSA swimmer Klete Keller?
🎧 We spoke to Klete as he rebuilds his life after swimming. Listen here on the #OlympicChannelPodcast > https://t.co/7bQVfekqXg pic.twitter.com/cShKphf4dS
Keller reached the pinnacle of swimming and walked away with five Olympic medals. However, he did not find success during his post-swimming life. He conducted an interview in 2018 and revealed that he was actually homeless for 10 months. He went through a divorce, lost his job and then lived in his car. He also said that he did not have the foresight to plan for his post-swimming career, which contributed to the downfall.prev