In Japan, the curlers of Team Fujisawa, the women’s team, are rock stars. Their cries of "sodanē,” or "OK,” across the curling rink have become a buzzword. Their snacking habits were once national news.

In South Korea, the number of viewers watching curling on television has soared. On Monday night, roughly one-fifth of all households in the country, or about 4 million people, watched the "Garlic Girls,” the South Korean team, compete against Team Fujisawa in a round-robin match at the Winter Games.

And in China, the government has hired a three-time world champion to coach its curling teams. In parts of the country, amateur curlers are pushing high-pressure cooking pots and woks on outdoor ice, sweeping do-it-yourself rocks with regular brooms.