The recorded history of curling indicates that the game developed during the 16th century in Scotland, the Netherlands and possibly Belgium. Scottish immigrants popularized the sport in North America in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The first Canadian curling club was founded in Montreal in 1807, and the first U.S. club emerged in Pontiac, Michigan in 1829.
When curling appeared as a medal sport at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, many believed it was making its debut as an official Olympic sport. However, in 2006 the Scottish newspaper The Heralduncovered proof that curling was an Olympic medal sport, not a demonstration sport as previously thought, at the inaugural Winter Olympics in 1924. Great Britain defeated Sweden and France to win the three-team men’s tournament in Chamonix.
After the 1924 Chamonix Games, curling made five unofficial Winter Olympic appearances as a demonstration sport: at the Lake Placid Olympics in 1932, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936, in Innsburck in 1964, in Calgary in 1988 and finally in Albertville in 1992.
At the 1988 Calgary Games, curling-crazed Canadians snatched up the 21,000 tickets to the six days of competition almost as soon as they went on sale and the sport sold out faster than anything except for figure skating and speed skating. The Canadians did not disappoint their fans, as the women’s team finished first and the men’s team placed third.
In 1992, curling’s final appearance a demonstration sport, the Swiss men, skipped by Urs Dick, and the German women, skipped by Andrea Schoepp, won the men’s and women’s tournaments, respectively. The U.S. men’s team, skipped by Bud Somerville, finished third in Albertville.
The sport was added to the official program for the 1998 Nagano Games. Curling has seen increased interest since being added to the olympic program and with an increasing number of arena based clubs in the 2000's is one of the fastest growing Olympic winter sports in the U.S.