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Olympics gatecrasher was part of opening ceremonies cast

India's flag bearer Sushil Kumar holds the national flag as he leads the contingent in the athletes parade during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012. A mystery woman gatecrashed India's march past at the Olympic opening ceremony and the delegation are seeking an apology from the London organisers, an Indian newspaper reported on Sunday. Photographs show a woman in red and blue walking close to Kumar on Friday night, in complete contrast to female members of the contingent who were wearing yellow sarees and blue blazers.

Max Fossi/Reuters

When the Indian delegation marched out for the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics Friday something clearly went wrong.

There at the front, marching right beside the flag bearer, was a woman dressed in a red jacket and blue pants. She stood out from the rest of the delegation which was dressed in yellow turbans and saris. But no one knew who she was.

The interloper sparked furious comments from the Indians with the acting chef de mission telling the Times of India that the incident was an embarrassment.

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"This was bizarre," he added. "We will ask for an apology. The Indian contingent was shown for just 10 seconds and to think this lady hogged all the limelight."

On Sunday, Games organizers discovered that the woman was a member of the opening ceremonies cast.

She "clearly got slightly over excited," said Sebastian Coe, chairman of the organizing committee. "She shouldn't have been there." He added that he would be speaking to the Indian delegation about the mishap.

Coe said there no security issue since the woman, a Londoner believed to be a student from India, had cleared security before entering the stadium.

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More


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