Lebanese skier Jackie Chamoun is feeling the wrath of what a viral controversy can bring after topless images of the Olympian surfaced online this week. Chamoun is currently in Sochi to compete in the winter Olympics, but the scandal has made waves all the way back in her home country.
Lebanon’s sports minister, Faisal Karami, called the Olympic committee and asked for an investigation into the scandal, according to Lebanon’s National News Agency, in hopes the images of Jackie Chamoun will not damage the country’s reputation. Lebanon, as some may know, is more conservative than Western nations like the United States. The Lebanese Olympic Committee released a statement saying it would not try to exclude Chamoun from competing in Sochi per Yahoo! News.
Chamoun, 22, posed three years ago for an annual calendar of skiers that was photographed by fellow Olympic skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe, who represents Mexico. Other Olympians have appeared in the calendar before.
While Jessica Chamoun was clothes for the photo used in the calendar, a behind-the-scenes video leaked this week which includes footage and photos of Chamoun topless. The images and video quickly made their way around the web. The video had nearly 300,000 views in less than a day after it was posted. The video was not too risqué, with only glimpses of nudity in the video, mostly showing Chamoun getting into position for photographs. The video may even be considered tame to some, compared to other nudity scandals that have made their way around the web in just the past year alone.
Jessica Chamoun took to her Facebook page to issue an apology, saying that the behind-the-scenes footage were never intended to be visible for the public’s eyes.
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.