Champion swimmer Keller Keller, who won two Olympic gold medals as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps, was identified by former teammates and coaches as members of the crowd at the US Capitol during violent protests on Wednesday.
a Video The townhall 6-foot-6 Keller, posted by a reporter from a conservative outlet, was seen climbing over a crowd, which was busting with police officers and trying to clean up the Capitol rotunda.
Several former teammates and coaches said they recognized Keller in the video because of her size and because she was wearing a US Olympic team jacket with “USA” printed on the back and bottom sleeves.
A green face, which may obscure his identity, hangs loosely around his neck, making his bearded face clearly visible.
A swimming news site, Swimswam, first reported Keller’s appearance on Monday in the Capital Cirque. The video had been circulating in the swimming community since last week, and several people saw Keller report it to authorities.
Attempts to reach Keller were unsuccessful.
On Tuesday night, after the Colorado real estate firm had hired him for the past three years, Hoff and Leah announced that Keller had resigned “effective” immediately.
“Hoff and Leah support the right to free speech and legal protest, but we cannot condemn actions that violate the rule of law,” the company said in a brief statement.
Some people who identified Keller in the video expressed surprise at his presence in Washington. His deleted social media accounts, many of them said, included a stream of Trump supporter messages in recent years.
No video has surfaced of Keller participating in any violent acts in the Capitol, but his mere presence in the building has put him in legal trouble when confirmed by authorities. As many people entered the building Now faces federal charges Including unlawful entry and disorderly conduct. More serious charges include theft of government property and firearms violations.
Keller, 38, was a member of three US Olympic teams, and has won three Olympic medals, including a gold medal at the Athens Games in 2004 and the Beijing Games in 2008 as a member of the 4×200-meter relay team. He won a silver medal in this event at the 2000 Sydney Games.
A powerful freestyle, Keller produced his signature moment in 2004 in Athens. A few days after winning the second straight bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle, Keller overtook gold medalist, Ian Thorpe of Australia, at anchor leg of the relay final. Phelps swam the leadoff leg for the American team, including Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderke.
Keller worked as a real estate broker in Colorado Springs in recent years. His agency, Hoff & Leh, confirmed that he was hired there when contacted by Swimswam, but by Monday night the company had removed Keller’s profile and almost all references from its website.
When asked about Keller’s employment on Tuesday morning, a woman answering the phone at the company said, “We cannot provide any information on him at this time.” However, by Tuesday night, the firm had deleted its own Twitter account and emailed a statement to news organizations in which it had asked Keller to step down.
However, the cached version of Keller’s Hoff and Leh Contact page included a biography, describing Keller as a broker associate with three years of real estate experience. His career as an elite athlete, the company said, made him “highly motivated”.
Calling a cellphone number for Keller, listed on the page, produces a message that he was not available.