UPDATE: Lebanese skier says country supports her despite topless video
UPDATE: A Lebanese Olympic skier depicted in revealing photographs and a video that circulated on the Internet said her country's sports officials are "on my side."
Three years ago, Jacky Chamoun posed for a calendar photo shoot. Behind-the-scenes footage recently was posted online, and Lebanon's sports and youth minister reportedly ordered an investigation.
But Chamoun said in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press that most people have been "supporting me and defending me."
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Jackie Chamoun is one of only two athletes from Lebanon competing in the Olympics. Suffice to say the spotlight on her is pretty bright in her conservative homeland.
So when and if a video of the skier topless surfaces on the Internet, one would expect all hell to break loose in Lebanon.
Well, it did. And it has.
Chamoun, a 22-year-old skier, three years ago posed for a calendar which annually features male and female skiers in little or no clothing, with just strategic placement of limbs and equipment leaving something for the imagination. At the time, it was reportedly scandalous enough.
But earlier this week, a video surfaced on YouTube showing behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot, with some frames including shots of Chamoun's bare breasts. And though Chamoun has yet to even compete in Sochi, she is firmly entrenched in a firestorm back home.
• Lebanon's sports minister, Farsal Karami, has reportedly called for an investigation into the photo shoot, fearful of its impact on the nation's reputation.
• The Lebanese Olympic Committee released a statement, saying it would not seek to have Chamoun removed from the Olympics.
• Chamoun posted an apology to her Facebook page, contending 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.
To see the video, click here.
H/t: Fourth-Place Medal