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February 11, 2014

Lebanese slam focus on Olympian's topless photos

Opponents of domestic violence and government critics say country needs to reassess priorities.

Jackie Chamoun of Lebanon clears a gate during the first run of the Women's Slalom race at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games on 26 February 2010 in Whistler, Canada. (EPA/GEORGE FREY)

A media controversy over topless photos by a Lebanese Olympic athlete has sparked backlash from some Lebanese online. Alpine skier Jackie Chamoun posed for an Austrian sports calendar which was published last November. Photos from the shoot resurfaced during the increased media scrutiny of the Olympics. 

Caretaker Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami has asked the Lebanese Olympic Committee to investigate the incident in order to secure "the protection of Lebanon's reputation".

Chamoun is one of two skiers representing Lebanon at the Olympics. She overcame the challenges of training during Lebanon's short ski season, paying for her own competitions and equipment. She will compete in two slalom competitions on February 18 and 21.

The skier posted an apology on her Facebook page on Tuesday, writing, "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 continued: 


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