Sunday, July 29, 2012
Who Was The Intruder In Indian Procession At Olympic Opening Ceremony?
The Indian delegation marched into the Opening Ceremony just like the other 203 countries at the Summer Olympics. A flag bearer led the procession and was accompanied by a female sign holder and a young child ambassador. Behind them, the nation's athletes marched; India's team wore yellow saris and turbans. Someone else was there too, an unexpected intruder in the procession. She wasn't part of the lead group and wasn't an athlete. She was dressed in a red sweater and teal pants and was waving and cheering like she was supposed to be there. She wasn't.
The identity of the Indian Intruder became a major mystery in the country. "Who's That Girl?" blared the headline on the front page of The Hindustan Times. Another newspaper ran an editorial blaming London security for allowing a security risk to march with the team.
London organizing chairman Sebastian Coe revealed her identity on Sunday. "She was a member of the [Opening Ceremony] cast who got slightly overexcited," he said. "We had suspected she was probably a member of the cast, but she clearly started in that venue and we will be speaking to the Indian delegation about that."
The country's Deccan Chronicle newspaper said she was likely Madhura Nagendra, a graduate student from the southern city of Bangalore who had been living in London. If she thought her stunt would be greeted with a sense of humor, she severely overestimated India's Olympic chief, Muralidharan Raga.
"She had no business to walk in with the Indian contingent and we are taking up the issue with the organizers," he said. "We don't know who she is and why she was allowed to walk in. It is a shame that she was with the athletes in the march past."
All right, all right: Let's not get out of hand here. The woman was trespassing and shouldn't have been allowed on the track to march with athletes who earned their spots in London. "A shame," though? A shame is the fact that India has been competing in the Olympics for 112 years and have only earned four more medals than Michael Phelps. This was a mysterious nuisance. And the case is closed.