Olympian Klete Keller charged in Capitol Rebellion, partially identified by altitude

Klete Keller, a gold medal Olympic swimmer who competed with superstars Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte has been charged in connection with the uprising by Capitol last week, apparently caught on video wearing his Team USA jacket in the rotunda.

City Hall journalist Julio Rosas shared a video that appeared to show the 38-year-old, 6 feet, 6 inches tall, standing conspicuously in the middle of the chaotic scene on Wednesday – even though he does not appear to be participating in the violence.


Swimming site SwimSwam first reported that members of the sports community identified Keller in the video. It shows a large group of protesters in the Capitol rotunda as police in rebel boxes force them out of the area.

Keller faces charges of deliberately entering a restricted building and trying to obstruct an official government office, according to an FBI complaint that quoted his appearance in the Rosas video and others.

Investigators said they identified him based on screenshots from the video, his driver’s license and because of his jacket and height.

Keller participated in the Olympics 2000, 2004 and 2008. He won two gold medals and one silver for the 4×200 meter freestyle relay – and two individual bronze medals for the 400 free.

American swimmer Klete Keller smiles after winning the men’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay swimming heat at the National Aquatics Center at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Keller was reportedly seen among a crowd of rebels storming the US Capitol last week. (AFP PHOTO / GREG WOOD)
(Getty Images)

His sister was also an Olympic swimmer.

At least five people died in the January 6 riots, including a Capitol police officer.


A group of rebels broke into the building, ransacked congressional offices and broke the Senate floor shortly after authorities evacuated members of Congress who met to certify the election of President-elect Joe Biden to Electoral College. Prior to the siege of the Capitol, President Trump hosted a meeting in which he and other speakers contested the election result.

The chaos prompted the House to vote to accuse President Trump for the second time and the resignation of the Capitol police chief.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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