NEW DELHI (AP) — India's Olympic mystery woman has apologized for gatecrashing the opening ceremony in London, saying an "error in judgment" caused her to walk at the head of her country's delegation.
Madhura Nagendra told India's NDTV news channel she was a cast member in the ceremony who got swept up in the excitement and ended up somehow marching in jeans and a red jacket alongside Indian flag-bearer Sushil Kumar at the head of the delegation of 40 athletes.
"It was chaos," Nagendra said from Bangalore. "A lot of people were around. It was a huge event as we all know. Thousands of people were walking and they were involved and I was blinded. As a result there was an error in judgment, which resulted in this."
Her Olympic cameo infuriated Indian officials, who demanded an explanation of how she was allowed into the parade of athletes.
London organizing chief Sebastian Coe insisted she posed no security threat because she already had been screened as a participant in the ceremony. About 10,000 volunteers performed alongside professional musicians, actors and dancers in director Danny Boyle's extravaganza.
Nagendra, a graduate student who had been living in London, said she regrets her actions. She said she was stung by all the criticism and hopes she will eventually be forgiven.
"I'm a proud woman of India with a lot of enthusiasm and with a lot of power," she said. "I was actually taken aback seeing all the comments."