Lebanese skier Jackie Chamoun is facing a scandal back home after topless images of the Olympian appeared online this week. Chamoun is currently in Sochi to compete, but the ripples are being felt in her country.
Lebanon’s sports minister Faisal Karami called the Olympic committee and asked for an investigation, according to Lebanon's National News Agency, hoping the images of Chamoun wouldn't harm the country's reputation. Lebanon, of course, is far more conservative than Western nations like the U.S. The Lebanese Olympic Committee released a statement saying it would not try to exclude Chamoun from competing in Sochi.
[Photos: See more images of Jackie Chamoun]
Chamoun, 22, posed three years ago for an annual calendar of skiers that's photographed and organized by fellow Olympic skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe, who represents Mexico. Other Olympians have appeared in the calendar before -- including Team USA's Julia Mancuso.
Chamoun was clothed in the photo used in the calendar (seen above). However, a behind-the-scenes video leaked this week and included footage and photos of Chamoun topless. It quickly went viral. The video, at the time of this posting, had nearly 300,000 views in less than a day. There are glimpes of nudity in the video, mostly when Chamoun is getting into position for photographs. Some might find the video tame when compared with many of the nudity-on-the-internet scandals seen these days.
Chamoun — who resides in Switzerland these days — issued an apology on her Facebook page, saying the behind-the-scenes footage was never supposed to be seen by the public.
I just want to make it clear to everyone who commented, shared the photos that appeared on the net in Lebanon yesterday. Yes I did photos for an Austrian ski calendar with other professional athletes 3 years ago. The photos of the photoshoot are not like the actual images that are now circulating on the net. The video and photos that you are now seeing are part of the making off, the preparation, it wasn’t supposed to go public. Anyways, I want to apologize to all of you, I know that Lebanon is a conservative country and this is not the image that reflects our culture. I fully understand if you want to criticise this.
Now that I’m at the Olympic Games, these photos that I never saw before are being shared. It is sad. All I can ask to each of you who saw this, is to stop spreading it, it will really help me focusing on what is really important now: my trainings and race.
She'll compete next week in the slalom.
In the video, Chamoun is asked which is easier being a model or a ski racer? Her response, "Ski. I'm not used to [posing] with no clothes."
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