What is curling? Everything you need to know about this winter sport

    A picture of a curling stone and the Olympic Rings during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

    (CNN)When the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games come around every four years, there are many sports which compete to grab the attention of viewers around the world.

    However, there is one in particular that seems to capture the hearts and minds of many every time: curling.
    Whether it be the seemingly manic brushing done in front of the stone or the incredible skill needed to accurately slide stones into precise positions from so far away, curling becomes must-watch TV.
      The game earned the moniker, The Roarin' Game, from the roar sound which comes from the granite stone as it travels over the ice.
        Ahead of the competition kicking off in Beijing, we're here to help you understand just what is curling, the sport which could capture the imagination of the world over the next few weeks.

        When did curling start?

        Although its exact origins can't be accurately traced, curling is a sport believed to have originated in the 16th century.
          Paintings from Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel appear to portray an activity similar to curling being played on frozen ponds.
          In 1540, John McQuhin -- a notary in Paisley, Scotland -- appeared to produce the first written evidence of curling.
          Written in Latin, McQuhin recorded in his book a challenge between John Sclater, a monk in Paisley Abbey, and Gavin Hamilton, a representative of the Abbot. It said that Sclater threw a stone along the ice three times and asserted that he was ready for the agreed contest.
          While an exact date can't be pinpointed, according to the World Curling Federation, the sport was played during its early stages on frozen lochs and ponds in northern Europe.
          Two Blair Atholl curlers taking part in a curling 'Grand Match' of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club on Loch Leven, Kinross, Scotland on January 28, 1959.
          It became popular across the world as emigrating Scots introduced curling to countries with similar climates.
          The first official rules of curling were drawn up in Scotland and adopted by the Grand Caledonian Curling Club -- which became the sport's governing body -- in 1838.
          The Club was renamed to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in 1843 after Queen Victoria took a liking to curling after a demonstration on the ballroom floor of Scone Palace.
          Although international curling matches have been recorded since the 19th century, the first official international matches took place at the first Winter Olympics in 1924, in Chamonix, France. Great Britain defeated Sweden and France in what was retroactively accepted as curling's Olympic debut.
          Curling was also a demonstration sport at the 1932 Winter Games, and later on in 1988 and 1992. This designation meant the sport wasn't played for medal competition.
          It wasn't until 1992 that the International Olympic Committee granted medal status to men's and women's curling. It was introduced to the Winter Olympics in 1998 in Japan and has gone onto be a regular inclusion.