Curling is the most popular Olympic sport of the last decade, according to research by FiveThirtyEight.
Over the last four Olympics, the sport has seen the biggest spike in Google searches, just surpassing figure skating.
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) February 23, 2018
It shouldn't be surprising based on it's prevalence on social media.
Me turning on curling: “I don’t care about this game. I don’t even get it.” Three hours later: “The skip should blank the end and retain the hammer! Use your strategy! I could coach this.”
— JenHatmaker (@JenHatmaker) February 23, 2018
I’m enjoying the curling. It combines my love of bowling and frantic mopping.
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) February 23, 2018
Even Chicago Bulls' head coach Fred Hoiberg used curling to teach his young superstar Lauri Markkanen.
Hoiberg used golf reference about overcompensating on next shot when working w/ Markkanen on his shot. Markkanen looked at Hoiberg like he "had 3 eyes." So Hoiberg used curling: "You have to continue to trust that stroke when you throw---what do you call it?---the stone."
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 23, 2018
However, the sport's goal is to have consistent exposure, not just a short-term spike.
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“The Olympics have definitely driven growth and exposure, but the key for us is not to disappear between Olympics,” USA Curling CEO Rick Patzke told ESPN. “You can get really popular for 17 days and then go away, you know?”
With the rush of excitement surrounding the men's team, and the two Wisconsin natives Matt Hamilton and John Shuster, that could be possible.
If not for the USA Women's Hockey teams historic upset, Hamilton and USA curling could have been the story of the Olympics.
Whether or not anyone will remember curling exists until 2022 remains unclear, but for right now, they will have the whole world watching when they face Sweden at 3:00 a.m. on NBCSN.
Well, maybe not live, but they'll definitely watch the highlights.
As if you need to “meet” our affable, boisterous second @MattJamilton at this point. Shout him out with a RT. #TeamShuster #TeamUSA #GoingForGold #Olympics #HamiltonMustacheMilitia pic.twitter.com/iOOiYuLwhV
— Team Shuster (@TeamShuster) February 23, 2018