Chances are you probably watched the Olympic Games opening ceremony on Friday, and if you did, you probably saw an Olympic imposter, dressed in red, marching beside India’s Olympic delegation.
The woman marched along side India’s flag bearer Sushil Kumar, stood out in her red hoodie and turquoise pants. The India delegation was all wearing yellow turbans or saris and navy blazers. Indian officials are now questioning how this Olympic imposter crashed their moment in the spotlight.
Who is the Mystery Woman?
Initially, Olympic officials withheld the woman’s identity. London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said, “She was a member of the cast who got slightly over-excited. 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. She shouldn’t have been on the parade and we will look into that…the next time we have opening ceremony.”
That answer did not seem to appease Indian officials. Indian officials demanded a full on apology from the London Olympic organizers. In a statement regarding the Olympic imposter, India’s acting chef-de-mission Muralidharan Raja said, “She had no business being there. It was a clear case of intrusion. We are taking up the issue with the organizers. We do not know who she is and why she was allowed to walk in. It is a shame that she was walking with our athletes.”
Mr. Raja said the woman was an embarrassment to the country, especially since the country was only spotlighted on television for 10 seconds.
The New York Daily News later reported the identity of the woman as Madhura Nagendra, a graduate student from the southern city of Bangalore. She is currently pursuing an MBA in London and was one of 10,000 volunteers performing in the opening ceremony. Olympic officials insist Nagendra did not pose a security threat and had to undergo screening in order to enter the Olympic Stadium.
Why Did She March?
Nagendra’s father, K. L. Nagendra, defended his daughter’s actions saying she was asked to join the delegation. “My daughter has done nothing wrong and she has not broken any rule,” Mr. Nagendra said. According to Mr. Nagendra, his daughter was a dancer during the opening ceremony and was later asked by someone on the Olympic committee to be part of the Indian march.
The incident has caused turmoil for the Nagendra family. They have reportedly left their home in the Banashankari area of Bangalore and moved to the outskirts of the city to avoid media attention and publicity.
When her friends were asked if the woman was, in fact, Nagendra, they said they recognized her immediately. She told her friends she was selected for the cultural program after an audition, but they did not expect to see her with the Indian delegation.
As to what penalties Ms. Nagendra will face because of her actions, we still do not know. Lord Coe said games officials will discuss the matter further.
The Strom Law Firm wishes all the athletes participating in the Olympic games the best of luck and also a big congratulations to all those who have already participated and won medals in their events.