Topless images of Olympic skier a scandal in Lebanon

FILE - In this March 8, 2013 file photo, Lebanese skier Jacky Chamoun speaks during an interview at the ski resort of Faraya, northeast of Beirut, Lebanon. Lebanon's Sports and Youth Minister has ordered an investigation into revealing photographs and a video in which Chamoun is seen topless. Faisal Karameh's order was carried by Lebanon's National News Agency on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, a day after a video appeared on the Internet showing the Olympic skier and another female Lebanese skier topless and posing for a photographer on the slopes of Lebanon's mountain resort of Faraya. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

February 12, 2014 7:34:05 AM PST
Lebanon has long been known as the most liberal Arab country in the Middle East, many of its women unafraid of baring the kind of flesh that would invite scorn and outrage elsewhere in the region.

But it remains conservative, at least by western standards, and topless images that have surfaced in the past few days of skier Jacky Chamoun, representing Lebanon at the Sochi Winter Olympics, have created such an uproar that the Lebanese Olympic Committee has been asked to investigate her.

Chamoun, 22, is one of just two Lebanese Olympians in Sochi, set to compete in the slalom and giant slalom skiing events next week. She also skied in the 2010 Vancouver Games, placing 54th in the slalom.

Three years ago, Chamoun and a fellow female Lebanese skier posed for a calendar that has annually featured both male and female skiers in various states of undress. In 2012, American Julie Mancuso (who won a bronze medal in the super combined on Monday) graced the cover of the calendar which is shot by six-time Mexican Olympic skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe, 55, who is again participating in Sochi (who also happens to be a pop singer and the son of a prince).

The photos of Chamoun appear in the 2014 calendar and while risqué, do not show her naked.

The calendar has been out since late last year, but in recent days, far more explicit images and video have surfaced online that Chamoun says are from behind-the-scenes material that she hadn't seen and wasn't meant to be public.


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