A Lebanese Olympic skier is facing criticism from members of the government over a leaked video of her posing topless.
Jackie Chamoun, one of Lebanon's two Olympians in Sochi, is scrambling to redeem her image after video footage from a risqué calendar shoot featuring skiers surfaced online.
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.
The photos included in the calendar, shot by Mexican Olympic skier Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe at Lebanon's Faraya ski resort, show Chamoun posing in the snow in a white ski jacket and little else, while the newly-released video shows her topless and in her underwear.
While Olympians pose fully or partially nude fairly often, and most of the comments on Chamoun's Facebook post were supportive, with one commenter encouraging her to "live your dreams, forget the idiots," the Lebanese government felt differently.
The country's caretaker Sports and Youth Minister Faisal Karami has asked the Lebanese Olympic Committee to look into the controversy, "to [avoid] harming Lebanon's reputation and international participation", Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper reported.
Chamoun told NBC while the images aren't the "best image you can give someone of you," she doesn't regret doing the shoot.
The hashtag #StripForJackie, featuring Twitter users posing nude, is also trending in apparent support for the athlete.
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