The Olympic sport of curling is enjoying unprecedented popularity among viewers of the Turino Winter Games, with a 36 percent spike in viewership of CNBC's daily coverage of the sport, up from the
Salt Lake City Games four years ago, NBC said. That spike has also more than tripled average CNBC viewership numbers for the time period of 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Though many in the U.S. consider
curling "an Olympic version of shuffleboard on ice, played by solemn grownups with brooms in their hands," in Canada it's a national obsession. The country even has a full-time curling writer, Paul
Wiecek, who covers the sports for the Winnipeg Free Press
. Wiecek calls curling "the most exciting 25 seconds in sports." How so? "Curling's about ordinary people doing extraordinary things,"
he says. "You pluck an auto mechanic or an insurance broker from the obscurity and anonymity of their lives. You drop them in front of 17,000 people in a hockey rink or a TV audience of millions, and
you see if they can slide a 42-pound rock 140 feet to a spot of ice when everything's on the line."
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