The identity of the woman, who had gate-crashed into the Indian contingent’s march past at the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games, was revealed on Sunday. A media report identified her as Madhura Nagendra, a postgraduate student from Bangalore. Her father claimed she was selected for a dance performance by show creator Danny Boyle.
Dressed in a red shirt and blue trousers, the woman was seen leading the Indian contingent alongside Beijing Games bronze medallist Sushil Kumar and her presence left the Indians fuming as they had no clue to who she was.
The organisers said they were “looking into” the issue after the Indian contingent submitted a letter expressing resentment.
Locog Chairman Sir Sebastian Coe said: “I was told about it. She... made it into the opening ceremony. There is a very important point to take into consideration… We will have our own discussion about that.”
Kamesh Srinivasan reports from London:
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.