Klete Keller: Everything to Know About the Former Olympian Who Took Part in U.S. Capitol Riots

Jason Duaine Hahn
·4 min read

getty images Klete Keller

Klete Keller — a former Olympian for the United States swim team — now faces federal charges after he was identified among the thousands of rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The 38-year-old was spotted in a number of photos and videos from the attack, which saw a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters forcing lawmakers into hiding as they certified Electoral College votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.

While riot footage of Keller did not show him committing acts of violence, many in the group were filmed looting and vandalizing the Capitol. Rioters also removed an American flag off of a flagpole outside of the building and replaced it with a Trump flag.

The riot resulted in the deaths of five people: Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick, Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt (who was shot by police while inside the building) and three others who died from medical emergencies.

RELATED: Olympic Gold Medalist Klete Keller Identified In Video from U.S. Capitol Riots: Report

Here is everything you need to know about Keller's career and his participation in the deadly Jan. 6 riot.

getty images Klete Keller

Keller won five medals in the Olympics

The former athlete participated in three Summer Olympics games from 2000, 2004, and 2008. Keller won five Olympic medals during his career, including two gold medals as a member of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay team.

The relay team also included Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay. The group won first place in Athens in 2004 and again, four years later, in Beijing.

He struggled after stepping away from swimming

In an interview with the Olympic Channel, Keller admitted to living in his car for months just a few years after achieving Olympic glory. Around the time, Keller's marriage had dissolved and he lost his job.

"For me, I was out on the street in one night," he recalled on the 2018 podcast. "There was a lot of tears, I cried a lot and I was so scared, I had never been that scared."

"You'd think that day would be low, but it kept getting lower and lower and lower for the next couple of years," Keller continued.

RELATED: Trump Doesn't Accept Responsibility for Inciting Capitol Riots, Says Speech Was 'Totally Appropriate'

Olympic Gold Medalist Klete Keller Identified In Video from U.S. Capitol Riots: Report

Keller won five medals during his Olympic career, including two gold medals as a member of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay team alongside Michael Phelps

He has been a staunch supporter of President Trump

While it appears Keller has deleted his social media accounts after the Capitol riot, SwimSwam — a swimming news website — reported that his past posts revealed he was an "outspoken supporter" of Donald Trump.

The president incited his supporters at a rally prior to the violent siege.

Keller has been charged with his role in the riot

Less than a week after the incident at the Capitol Building, Keller was arrested and is facing charges of obstructing law enforcement engaged in official duties incident to civil disorder, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to a criminal complaint by the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. obtained by PEOPLE.

Keller wore a Team USA jacket while participating in the riots

Keller was identified by former teammates and coaches via social media images showing him inside the Capitol, The New York Times reported. The photos and video footage showed him wearing a Team USA jacket with a white Olympic patch on the front left side and a Nike logo on the right side.

He resigned his position at a real estate company following the riot

Keller was an employee for the commercial real estate firm Hoff & Leigh in Colorado Springs, Colorado, The Washington Post reported.

In a statement to PEOPLE this week, Hoff & Leigh said Keller resigned from the company.