In 2013, Alpine skier Jackie Chamoun and her Vancouver Olympic teammate Chirine Njiem ( she is not competing in Sochi 2014) posed for some risque photos for a ski-themed calendar.
The calendar, the photos for which were taken by six-time Mexican Olympic skier Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe, annually features skiers and models posing topless on ski resorts around the world and serves to promote winter sports tourism in these areas.
Jackie wrote on her Facebook page 2 hours ago: 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.”
We as Glamroz fully support our Olympic team in Sochi 2014. We believe that Chirine Njeim and Jackie Chamoun are totally free to do whatever they want. Ordinarily, this might not seem like a big deal. After all, many Olympians have posed topless or nude over the years to raise awareness for their sports and even money from sales in order to compete.
THEREFORE WE HAD REMOVED THE VIDEO.
NBC Olympics spoke with Chamoun about the experience and the reaction those photos generated.
Hubertus mentioned that you posed for his Ski Instructors calendar. What was that like and did you get the chance to talk with him at all about his Olympic experiences?
Hubertus is a good friend of mine. He came to Lebanon for international competitions and I also saw him at the World Championships in Val d’Isere in 2009 and the Olympics in 2010. We stayed in contact and he was in Serbia when I was there racing. He is a really good friend and he is very passionate about what he does, whether it is sport or the Olympics or photography. It is nice to see people who are older and still want more and don’t want to stop because they love the sport so much.
So, Hubertus came to Lebanon because he did a video show about Beirut and he also did this calendar. Chirine and I were in the calendar. We met him on the slopes. Of course it was a strange feeling to be on the slopes of Lebanon and produce this calendar, but it was great to be with Hubertus and his crew. It was a great experience and a lot of fun.
When you say it was weird, what do you mean?
First because it was… I did photos before for a Lebanese magazine and advertisements but not these kind of photos. The other weird thing was that I knew everybody at the ski resort. I knew all the skiers who were passing. I could see other skiers. I could see the parents of other skiers. I could see my coaches, everyone. When you get there, you are like, ‘No, what am I doing? Maybe I shouldn’t do this.’ But then you go with it and have fun.
Was it a positive experience?
Why the hesitation?
(laughs) It was positive for me. I don’t regret it at all. When I started my job, for example, people when they search for me on the web sometimes they can see these pictures directly so you think maybe it’s not the best thing, not the best image you can give someone of you. But, I don’t really care, though. I really enjoyed it and I don’t regret it. I like these photos. I have no problem with it.
Was it difficult to do in a country like Lebanon which is more conservative than a lot of other counties in the world?
Yes. If we were somewhere else in Lebanon, in a public place, maybe they would have shooted us. But we were on the slope in Faraya and it is an open space. The people who go there are people from Beirut who are open-minded, more international in their thinking, and also the jet-set of Lebanon so it wasn’t a problem there. It’s really open there, like in Europe. In other places we could have been in really big trouble.
What did your parents say?
My dad wasn’t happy with it at all (laughs). He didn’t want me to do it, but my mom was okay with it.
See more at: http://www.nbcolympics.com