Former American swimmer Klete Keller, two-time Olympic relay champion, has been identified among protesters who invaded the United States Capitol in Washington to prevent certification of the election of Joe Biden.
Paramilitaries, Proud Boys, QAnons, neo-Nazis but also… a former Olympic medalist. Former American swimmer Klete Keller was identified on Tuesday, January 12, among the eclectic crowd of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6 by the specialized media SwimSwam and the New York Times.
The two media spoke with a dozen former teammates and coaches. On condition of anonymity, all have formally identified him in several images on the conservative Townhall website.
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In these footage, a man is seen wearing a US Olympic team jacket, inside the Capitol Rotunda, as police attempted to evacuate people from the area. In another video, we see him with a bottle of water in his hand, still in the rotunda.
A negative spiral after his Olympic career
The 38-year-old has competed twice in the Olympics and won gold in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 with the American relay (4x200m), alongside legend Michael Phelps. He also won silver in the same event in 2000 in Sydney and was an individual bronze medalist in the 400-meter freestyle at the 2000 and 2004 Games.
According to SwinSwam, the athlete struggled to mourn his career after the Beijing Olympics. A negative spiral which, according to the words of the swimmer in an old interview, peaked in 2014 when he had to live 10 months in his car after his divorce. According to the news site, the athlete deleted all of his social media accounts, but his latest posts showed he was a staunch supporter of President Trump.
According to the NY Times, Keller recently worked as a real estate agent in Colorado Springs, the city where the US Olympic Committee is located.
There is no video showing Keller acting in a violent manner, but the mere fact of being there exposes him to federal charges of break and enter and disturbing the peace.
Since the violence last Wednesday, which left five dead, including a police officer, around and inside the Capitol, the federal police have been trying to find all those who entered this place. Many images have circulated on social networks, often posted by the protesters themselves.
Seventy people have already been charged, 170 suspects identified and the judicial authorities anticipate “hundreds” of indictments in the months to come, said a senior official of the Department of Justice in Washington.