Case of mystery woman solved?

Posted: July 31, 2012

SEBASTIAN COE, the organizing chief of the London Games, says she was a cast member at the opening ceremonies "who clearly got slightly overexcited."

Officials from India aren't buying it.

During Friday's opening ceremonies, an unknown woman dressed in a red jacket marched with India's contingent of athletes and coaches.

"Who's That Girl?" screamed the front page of The Hindustan Times, which we're guessing is India's answer to the People Paper.

"Leaky London: Unaccounted presence in march past," read the headline in the Times of India.

On Sunday, Olympic officials downplayed the story, claiming she had to have been screened to be inside the stadium.

"We are totally dazed," Indian press atttache Harpal Singh Bedi said. "How can a person without any accreditation walk past?"

According to Coe, and a recent report, that's not what happened.

"Don't run away with the idea that she walked in off the street," Coe said. "[We] will have our own discussions."

Turns out there may not be much to discuss.

The Press Trust of India identified the woman as Madhura Nagendra, a graduate student from India who is living in London.

Nagendra's father, K. Nagendra, told the newspaper that his daughter had been chosen to dance in the ceremony, and speculated that she might have been asked by organizers to escort India's team into the stadium.”

Mystery solved. Call off Scotland Yard and let the Games continue.

Big man, big job

Covering Olympic basketball is a tall order, but 7-6 Yao Ming is up for the task.

Yao, who played for the Rockets from 2003-11, is a member of China's broadcasting team. As such, he's about the only media member who can see eye-to-eye with the players he covers.

Remember when ...

Nowadays, most kids know Bruce Jenner as the stepfather of Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian.

But 36-years ago today, he was a star in his own right as he set the world record in the Olympic decathlon with 8,618 points, breaking Nikolai Avilov's mark by 164 points. n

Contact Tom Mahon at mahont@phillynews.com

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