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An Olympic medalist identified as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps was spotted at the U.S. Capitol riot and draw flak from netizens. (Photo : Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
An Olympic medalist at riot was seen on video footage of last week’s violent election protest in the US capitol who was recognized as United States’ former two-time gold titlist.
Olympic Medalist at Riot
SwimSwam was the one first to report that the man in the video was identified as Klete Keller, a two-time swimming olympian who was Michael Phelps’ relay teammate.
The angry mob stormed the US capitol on January 6, just five days after New Year, when the newly-elected president, Joe Biden, and vice president-elect Kamala Harris, were announced.
In another report by the New York Times, Keller was found out to be a staunch supporter of Donald Trump who joined the frenzied riot that left five people dead, including a police officer.
The Times continued that the 6-foot-6 tanker was the bearded man who was seen in the footage donning a green hander ed by an Olympic team jacket in the Capitol Rotunda. At least 12 people including Keller’s former teammates and coaches who chose to go unknown, confirmed his identity in the viral video posted by TownHall’s Julio Rosas.
Trump supporters fought back after Capitol Police moved in to retake the Rotunda. pic.twitter.com/4e7mNyqWZy
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 6, 2021
The Times added that even though Keller only remained on standstill in the video, his inclusion in the vicious protest will still fall to the unlawful entry and charges of misconduct. The 38-year-old freestyle specialist has now deleted his Pro-Trump posts on social media.
His involvement in the fiasco sparked tons of disapproval on social media among the users. Some called out that the former Olympics champion should be barred from owning his Olympic medals again.
Here are some tweets from the enraged users.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 12, 2021
@Olympics – Please consider stripping the medals from this guy, Klete Keller if you please? Wearing your organizations insignia while attempting to overthrow the US government isn’t a good optic. pic.twitter.com/8LMUnjDMGJ — Deidre Sabatello (@OheeBluis) January 12, 2021
An Olympic gold medalist swimmer named Klete Keller, was part of the MAGA terrorist attacks. His former teammates and coaches identified him. The insurrectionist even wore his Olympic Team Jacket at the time. The @Olympics must strip him of his medals and he should be charged. — Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) January 13, 2021
Keller, who was in the big wave with swimming legend Michael Phelps, took part in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics where they finished as a gold medalist in the 4×200 m. In Australia, he participated in the Sydney 2000 Games where he pocketed a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle. The gold was decorated to host country swimmer Ian Thorpe.
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Furthermore, his accolades also include a bronze-medal finish in 400m freestyle during the Athens Olympics, with two Australian swimmers, Thorpe and Grant Hacket who bagged the top 2 awards.
Currently, the USC graduate was a real estate agent in Colorado Springs, where the US Olympic Committee is located.
According to The Guardian, there was no response sent by USA Swimming when they asked if Keller was part of the mob during the US capitol riot. Reuters reached out to the woman, who is believed to be working with Keller in the Ohio and Colorado real estate agency but she only hung up the phone.
Last Wednesday, Trump encouraged his supporters to rattle the US Capitol which led to a massive crowd rally that forced the US Senate and the House of Representatives to evacuate for a safer area.
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