Lebanese skiier Jackie Chamoun during a competition last year in Austria..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Topless photographs of a Lebanese champion skier which surfaced online and have gone viral in her home country are at the center of an uproar in our neighbor to the north.
Jackie Chamoun, who is competing in the women’s giant slalom competition at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, was the subject of a backlash from the Lebanese government after photographs in which she is seen topless became a hit on the Internet.
The pictures were taken last year by a Mexican skier for a calendar, but a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot, which include brief moments of nudity, have gained greater popularity as Chamoun gears up for her skiing competition.
Lebanon’s sports and youth minister, Faisal Karami, condemned Chamoun for sullying “the reputation of Lebanon.”
In response, Chamoun apologized on her Facebook page for the photographs, insisting that she has no intention of disgracing her native country.
In a show of support for Chamoun, however, Lebanese web-surfers came to her defense on social media while ridiculing claims that topless photographs can be an affront in a county where sectarian strife, war, bloodshed, and a dysfunctional political system have been the norm.