Finally, huge neon-green and neon-yellow worms were inflated along the perimeter of the stadium, where the worms wriggled spasmodically in the night air. This effect was duplicated in the stands, where thousands of spectators whirled miniature multicolored whistling plastic worms above their heads on cue. This was the most Seussian moment of the night. The crescent moon had disappeared. The Alps were lost in the dark. Pandemonium reigned on earth. Let the Games begin.
If the athletes of the Albertville Olympics can amaze, uplift, amuse and inspire as effectively as did the opening ceremony, these Winter Games will be an unmitigated success. Certainly the extravaganza struck a winning chord with the Austrians, who accumulated seven medals on the first two days of competition: gold and silver in the 90-meter jump (page 46), gold and bronze in the men's downhill (page 36), silver and bronze in the men's luge (page 44), and bronze in the women's 3,000-meter speed skating.
The rest of us will, at the very least, have the memory of an unforgettably bizarre evening of whimsy as a keepsake of Albertville's Winter Games. As one spectator was overheard to say, with the giant neon worms wriggling overhead in the cold black sky, "If they put as much effort into the toilets in this country, it would be a helluva place."