• Switzerland edition
 
Sochi Olympics
Swiss-trained Olympic skier in nude video furore
Jackie Shamoun (right) in Sochi. Photo: Facebook

Swiss-trained Olympic skier in nude video furore

Published: 11 Feb 2014 22:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Feb 2014 22:14 GMT+01:00

A YouTube video circulating on the internet of Shamoun, wearing nothing but ski boots and a skimpy string bikini bottom, infuriated members of Lebanon’s government.

Fayçal Karamé, the country’s minister of youth and sport, called for the Lebanese Olympic committee to take measures “to protect the reputation of Lebanon”.

The Middle East nation is considered among the most liberal of those in the Arab world but much of its society remains attached to conservative social norms.

Chamoun, 22, posed in the snow at the Faraya-Mzaar ski resort in Lebanon along with Chirine Njelm another Lebanese skier for Hubertus von Hohenlohe, a Mexican former skier and descendant of German royalty who calls himself a prince.

According to information attached to the YouTube video, the photo shoot was for a calendar that annually features skiers and models posing topless at ski resorts around the world.

On her Facebook page, Shamoun acknowledged posing for photos for an “Austrian ski calendar” three years ago.

“The video and photos that you are now seeing are part of the making off, the preparation, it wasn’t supposed to go public,” she said in English.

“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,” Shamoun said.

“I fully understand if you want to criticize this.”

Her post attracted more than 7,600 Facebook “likes” as well as more than 2,300 comments, many of them supportive of Shamoun but some of them sharply critical.

The controversy has come at an awkward time for the athlete, who is studying sports and event management in Switzerland, where she also trains.

A photo on her Facebook page shows her leaving for Sochi from the Geneva airport.

The Beirut native was the focus of a recent profile by American TV network NBC for defying the odds to compete at the Olympics.

She took part at the Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010, finishing 54th in the women’s slalom event. 

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Low-IQ ‘IT genius’ leads school computer theft
iMacs were among the computers stolen from nine schools. Photo: Jamie McCall

Low-IQ ‘IT genius’ leads school computer theft

A youth with an IQ of just 65 helped mastermind the theft of dozens of computers from schools in the canton of Vaud before reconfiguring them for sale at a Lausanne second-hand shop. READ  

Farms opt out of Swiss National Day brunch
Brunches are increasingly popular, despite the decline in farms taking part. Photo: SVB/Brunch.ch

Farms opt out of Swiss National Day brunch

The number of farms in Switzerland offering a traditional brunch as part of Swiss National Day celebrations has fallen by more than a third since the initiative began. READ  

Emmental takes the brunt in weekend storms
Storms uprooted trees and flooded villages in Emmental. Photo: Caroline Bishop

Emmental takes the brunt in weekend storms

The Emmental region is in the middle of a clear-up operation after further bad weather caused major damage over the weekend to the tune of four million francs ($4.4 million) READ  

Andujar aces Monaco to take Swiss Open title
Andujar holds his Gstaad trophy. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Andujar aces Monaco to take Swiss Open title

Spain's Pablo Andujar broke a title drought lasting for more than two years on Sunday as he defeated Argentine Juan Monaco 6-3, 7-5 to win the Swiss Open. READ  

Lausanne woman among Mali plane crash dead
The Air Algérie plane was en route to Algiers. Photo: Farouk Batiche/AFP

Lausanne woman among Mali plane crash dead

A communications officer from Lausanne is listed among the 118 people on board the Air Algérie plane which crashed in Mali on Thursday. READ  

Resting Wawrinka drops in on Swiss Open
Wawrinka recovered from illness shortly before Wimbledon. Photo: Andrew Yates/AFP

Resting Wawrinka drops in on Swiss Open

Stan Wawrinka confirmed on Friday that he is fit and ready for the final leg of the ATP season, starting with the Masters 1000 event in Canada. READ  

Swiss swimmer attempts river Rhine record
The Rhine flows through Basel. Photo: Michelle Kinsey Bruns

Swiss swimmer attempts river Rhine record

A man from Graübunden is attempting to swim the length of the river Rhine from its source to its mouth, a journey of 1,247 kilometres. READ  

Deal reached on Geneva airport construction
The agreement means Geneva airport's building work can go ahead. Photo: eguidetravel.com

Deal reached on Geneva airport construction

Environmentalists and residents groups have withdrawn their opposition to the renovation of Geneva airport’s east wing after an agreement was reached regarding the number of planes that may use it. READ  

New rules put damper on national day fireworks
Communes don't want to pay for fireworks training courses. Photo: Takashi Nishimura

New rules put damper on national day fireworks

Celebrations on Swiss National Day on August 1st may be more muted than usual this year after the government ruled that anyone running a fireworks display must undergo a costly training course. READ  

Youzhny sets up quarter- final clash in Gstaad
Mikhail Youzhny celebrates after winning last year's tournament. Photo: Alain Grosclaude/AFP

Youzhny sets up quarter- final clash in Gstaad

Top seed Mikhail Youzhny began his title defence at the Swiss Open tennis tournament in Gstaad on Thursday with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Frenchman Kenny De Schepper. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Hackers exploit 'holes' in Swiss online banking systems: IT experts
Sport
Video of Bern football player's spectacular own goal goes global
Tech
Switzerland stays on top of innovation rankings for fourth year
National
Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn play tennis at Jungfraujoch (VIDEOS)
Business & Money
Competition commission launches probe into Swiss car leasing 'fiddle'
Health
Down's syndrome cases in Switzerland more than double
National
American family files hefty lawsuit over deadly Swiss balloon crash
Features
Graubünden's panoramic Bernina Express celebrates rail history
National
Study rates Zurich as world's fifth most expensive city for expats
National
Swiss-based human brain project directors hit back at research critics
Business & Money
Switzerland gets the edge on EU with China free trade agreement
National
Entries for new Swiss national anthem competition swell over 200
National
Zurich-based helicopter firm denies role in Schumacher medical leak
Culture
Montreux Jazz Festival debuts live internet streaming of concerts
Features
Tour of Bern’s historic fountains tells story of Switzerland's capital
National
Swiss media lament football team's 'cruel' and 'bitter' defeat
International
The Local expands its reach with the launch of new website in Denmark
Sport
Jubilant press hails hat-trick hero Shaqiri as 'Swiss Messi'
National
New website study reveals inequality in Swiss disposable income
Travel
Switzerland’s largest ski area 4-Vallées breaks up over lift dispute
National
VIDEO: Zurich Zoo launches contest to name newborn baby elephant
Business & Money
CEO-to-worker pay gap grows at biggest Swiss firms: union study
Culture
VIDEO: Swiss performance artist plans naked stroll at Art Basel
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,146
jobs available