Reports identify Olympic gold-medal winning swimmer Klete Keller among Capitol rioters

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Klete Keller may have joined the riot inside the U.S. Capitol last week, according to multiple media reports that identify him based on photos and videos taken that day.

Keller, 38, is a three-time Olympic swimmer, who earned five medals overall, including gold medals in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Games for Team USA. 

Keller could not be reached for comment on phone numbers listed for him, and a message left at his work number went unreturned.

He was, until Tuesday, listed as a real estate agent with Hoff & Leigh in Colorado. Hoff & Leigh issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying Keller, an independent contractor, had resigned. 

While the firm did not confirm Keller was at the riot, it said: "Hoff & Leigh supports the right of free speech and lawful protest but we cannot condone actions that violate the rule of law." 

Keller's biographical information was removed from the company's website on Tuesday morning.

Klete Keller looks at the clock, confirming he won bronze with a time of 3:44.11 in the men's 400-meter freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics. (Photo: Eileen Blass, USA TODAY)

Swimswam, a website about competitive swimming, first reported that Keller may have been among the crowd, basing the claim on "at least a dozen people" who had reviewed images and video from the raid. Swimming World magazine published a similar report on its site, based on anonymous sources.

The New York Times said Keller was in the crowd at the Capitol, according to "former teammates and coaches" who identified him in photos.

Brent Rutemiller, chief executive of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and publisher of Swimming World, told The Arizona Republic that photos and images on social media of Keller inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 mob surge were accurate depictions of the Olympic champion who trained at Phoenix Swim Club with other Olympic champions.

"That is Klete," Rutemiller said in an email. "I have confirmed." He did not elaborate on why he was certain of Keller's identity.

Rutemiller, also publisher of Swimming World Magazine, said he recognized the USA Team jacket that the person in the images was wearing. 

Trump supporters fought back after Capitol Police moved in to retake the Rotunda.

But USA Swimming, the governing body of the Olympic sport in the U.S., said it was not aware whether Keller was at the Capitol and "cannot confirm its accuracy."

"We respect private individuals’ and groups’ rights to peacefully protest but in no way condone the actions taken by those at the Capitol last week," Isabelle McLemore, managing director of communications for USA Swimming, said Monday in an email.

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Keller's most famous swim came when he held off Australian star Ian Thorpe in the anchor leg of the 4×200 meter-freestyle relay in the 2004 Athens Games to win the race by a mere 0.13 seconds.

Keller, who has an Arizona flag tattooed on his right biceps, won back-to-back bronze medals in the 400 freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Games, including setting the American record (3:44.11) in Athens.

He also won a silver in the 4x200m freestyle relay in Sydney and gold in the same relay at the 2008 Beijing Games.

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