Olympics: Mystery woman in Indian contingent's opening ceremony march past identified as Madhura Nagendra

The mystery woman in red who gate-crashed into the Indian contingent's march past in Friday's Olympics opening ceremony has been identified as Madhura Nagendra of Bangalore, a dancer in one of the segments of Danny Boyle's pageant, says a report in The Times Of India, adding that clad in a red track top, blue pants and sneakers, Madhura marched in the front of the contingent alongside flag-bearer Sushil Kumar, smiling and waving at the cameras, before disappearing midway.

"My daughter was selected for a performance at the inaugural by Danny Boyle," said Madhura's father, K L Nagendra, a leather export entrepreneur based in Bangalore.

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London organizing committee, confirmed on Sunday that she did not pose a security threat. "I can now confirm she was a cast member. She was slightly over-excited. he made it into the opening ceremony. She obviously should not have been there," Coe said.

Meanwhile a report in The Hindu says that the acting president of the Indian Olympic Association, Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, said he was still waiting for a response from the Games organisers on the intrusion. Apparently, an official of the organising committee apologised verbally to the Chef de Mission, Brig. P.K. Muralidharan Raja, at the boxing venue, but Prof. Malhotra said he insisted on a written reply as the complaint had been given in writing to Mr. Coe. “Informally saying sorry will not do. We want a written clarification,” said Prof. Malhotra.

Usually, only the placard-holder with the country’s name walks with the contingent. But this time, the organisers had put an additional person to carry a copper petal that was meant to form the Olympic cauldron. The woman was supposed to guide the contingent till it entered the track, but she triumphantly took a round with the Indian squad. With the whole contingent in traditional attire, the intruder was a jarring misfit.