Jackie Chamoun, a 22-year-old Olympic skier from Lebanon, is in hot water in her homeland after a series of topless photos taken three years ago surfaced in an online video earlier in the week.
The photos were part of a calendar shoot in Austria taken three years earlier. Though the photos that appeared in the calendar were not topless, the pictures that have been circulating online, courtesy of a behind the scenes video, reportedly show Chamoun bare-chested between shots for the calendar.
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Lebanon's Sports and Youth Minister has ordered an investigation into revealing photographs and a video in which the country's Olympic skier is seen topless, the Associated Press reported
Chamoun, who is one of only two athletes competing in the Sochi Winter Olympics for Lebanon, addressed the controversy via Facebook on Tuesday
"Yes I did photos for an Austrian ski calendar with other professional athletes 3 years ago," Chamoun wrote on Facebook. "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," Chamoun added. "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."
In response to the controversy, the Lebanese Olympic Committee has since released a statement, saying it would not seek to have Chamoun removed from the Olympics, Fox Sports reported
More recently, Chamoun posed for a Sochi Olympic promotional campaign that featured her lying on a snow mound exposing partial cleavage and much of her legs.
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