Robert “Sandy” Vietze, the drunk 18-year-old who drank eight alcoholic beverages and then relieved himself on the leg of an 11-year-old girl on the worst flight ever (someone later vomited, in an unrelated incident), has been found to have been a top alpine skier and on the developmental team roster of the U.S. Ski Team. Though his mistake on that flight from Portland, Oregon, to JFK, may have cost him his chance at the 2014 Winter Games in Russia, reports the New York Post. This is yet another lesson in the long list of lessons of why one shouldn’t pee on someone on a flight.
Olympic officials would not comment on his status, though his name is still on the developmental team list here (at the bottom):
U.S. Alpine Development Team Nominations
Bryce Bennett (7/14/92; Olympic Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)
Kieffer Christianson (8/11/92; Anchorage, AK; Burke Mountain Academy)
Robert Cone (1/12/92; Killington, VT; Middlebury College)
Tanner Farrow (5/21/93; Ketchum, ID; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation)
Nicholas Krause (5/12/93; Northboro, MA; Stratton Mountain School)
Brian McLaughlin (6/24/93; Topsfield, MA; Green Mountain Valley School)
Scott Snow (7/8/93; Sagle, ID; Independence Racing)
Matthew Strand (5/14/93; Lakeville, MN; Buck Hill Ski Team)
Sandy Vietze (7/16/93; Warren, VT; Green Mountain Valley School)
He seems to have been removed from the website of Green Mountain Valley School (though there’s plenty on him cached), and you can find him on YouTube, too.
When Vietze tracked down to his family’s “palatial Vermont home,” by the Post, he didn’t want to talk and “showed no interest in apologizing to his victim.”
Vietze’s neighbor, who would talk, had only good things to say:
“He’s a very nice boy, one of the nicest, most respectable young people I’ve ever met,” said a neighbor, Colin Seaman.
“It would be very hard for me to believe that this even happened.”
Let us hope that the dreams of this young Olympic hopeful have not been lost forever because of some mislaid pee.
Update: According to a statement emailed to the AP from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Executive Vice President of Athletics, Luke Bodensteiner, “Vietze had been dismissed from the team for conduct violations.”
Update 2: Via ESPN:
The Port Authority initially told the AP and other news outlets Thursday that federal prosecutors had decided to drop the indecent exposure charge, but a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, Robert Nardoza, said Friday that the case is still pending.
That would mean the possibility of a fine of $1,000 and up to a year in jail, which is apparently “unusual in such a case.”
Update 3: Vietze did not pee on the girl, but on the floor next to her, according to a statement from her family.