Robert "Sandy" Vietze, 18, of Warren, Vt. got the boot from the U.S. Ski Team development squad after being accused of getting drunk and urinating on a fellow Jet Blue red-eye passenger - a 12-year-old girl.
Associated Press reports say Vietz was returning east on a flight from Portland, Ore. to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York last week. Vietz told Port Authority Police who detained him following the flight's landing that he'd "consumed five or six beers and two rum and coke cocktails" before boarding the flight.
Vietze told authorities he had passed out in his seat and awoke to find himself being yelled at by the girl's father. The father told a P.A. detective that when he returned from his trip to the bathroom at 2:30 a.m., he found Vietze urinating on his daughter. He described Vietze as "out of it."
U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Executive Vice President of Athletics Luke Bodensteiner confirmed to AP that "from the information we have, Sandy Vietze is in violation of the USSA Code of Conduct and team agreement and has been dismissed from the team. The Ski Team website made no mention of the incident as of Sunday, Aug. 13, but Vietze's name was not listed as a member of the development squad.
Federal misdemeanor charges for indecent exposure can carry a fine of $1,000 and up to a year in jail, but some reports say these charges will be dropped may be dropped as the father reportedly refused to let police question the girl. Ski Racing International Magazine, based in Warren, confronted the young skier, but he had no comments. Either did his mother.
Vietze had excelled at the pricey, but effective Green Mountain Academy ($42,384 per year) and was slated to compete on the 2011-2012 U.S. Development Squad.
Editorial comment: Who sold 18-year-old Vietze the beer and drinks at the airport and who let him on the flight? Worth investigating. Green Mountain Academy likely won't be offering refunds to his parents. -Editor