The mysterious woman in red who was seen leading the Indian contingent during the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday, has been identified as Madhura Honey, a post-graduate student from Bangalore, Deccan Chronicle reported.
The young woman, created a flutter on global media that night, as she stood apart from the rest of the delegates in a red shirt and blue trousers. Honey was seen walking alongside world champion wrestler Sushil Kumar, the flag bearer, in the parade of the opening ceremony.
According to the daily, a college friend reportedly recognised the woman in the march past as Honey. She was reportedly living in London and had passed to the Olympic event that she displayed on Facebook, which she decativated later over some issues. It remains unclear as to how she managed to sneak into the parade and her motive to do so.
Country officials were miffed that the woman, who was not attached to the contingent, was allowed to march besides the delegates, and were seeking to take up the issue with the London Olympic Games Organizing Committee (LOCOG).
Around 41 out of the 81 athletes of the Indian contingent marched into the Village stadium on Friday. Officials considered it unlikely that Honey was one of the 23 female athletes participating in the Games.
"She had no business to walk in with the Indian contingent and we are taking up the issue with the organisers. 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," acting chef de mission of the Indian contingent Brig P K Muralidharan Raja said in a statement.
Raja said that his team thought that the woman belonged to the organising committee, and was surprised when she started marching right besides the flag bearer. He also expressed disapproval that the woman's presence stole media attention away from the athletes and officials in the contingent, the Times of India (TOI) said.
When asked if the intrusion was considered a security breach, the chef de mission told the TOI, "I can't say that as she was in a sanitized zone but this was bizarre. We will ask for an apology. She embarrassed us in front of the world... the Indian contingent was shown for just 10 seconds, and to think this lady hogged all the limelight."
Even before her identity was revealed, Indian officials didn't launch an official investigation into the woman's credentials, saying that she was no longer in the premises once the parade was over. They were also yet to affirm the woman's origin, saying that she could be Asian or even Latin-American.
According to Telegraph India, the intrusion may construe as a controversy, as Indian Olympic Association officials may have discerned the woman's identity, but wished to keep it under wraps for fear that it may cause embarrassment within the body.