U-S-A, U-S-A, F-I-B-E-R, F-I-B-E-R

OK, this isn’t a telecom dictionary entry, but it’s pretty interesting. On Friday, February 22nd, 1980, the greatest sports event in American history took place―the U.S hockey team defeated the Soviet Red Army team, 4-3. The game actually took place in the afternoon but was broadcast later that night to a national TV audience. While even non-hockey fans were cheering a group of fresh-faced amateur athletes take on the mighty Soviet hockey team, which had won the previous 4 gold medals, they were enjoying the first ever broadcast that used fiber optics. Even though fiber wasn’t used to broadcast the primary transmission, it was used to deliver backup video feeds. Fiber optics proved so successful, it was the primary transmission medium used 4 years later at the Winter Olympics in Lilliehammer, Norway.