The Winter Olympics may have wrapped up in Sochi recently, but one of its sports is still going strong in the local area.

Curling became a Winter Olympic sport in 1998 and continues to grow in popularity around the United States.

The winter sport involves two teams of four sliding a stone across the ice into four concentric rings. The goal is to release the stone strategically into the ring to get the most points. Sweepers sweep the ice to influence the trajectory of the stone into the ring. The team with the most stones closest to the center win.

Joe Mecca, a member of the Triangle Curling Club in Wake Forest, N.C., says it's a sport for all ages. Mecca has been curling since 2006. He began curling at a time when there were very few curling centers.

"Curling is really growing in a lot of places where curling hadn't traditionally been a sport," Mecca says. "It's usually more of a northern sport."

Interest in the southeast has definitely grown, as clubs have popped up from Atlanta to Richmond to right here in North Carolina. Mecca says he believes the Olympic coverage over the years has helped popularize the sport.

First-time curler Kat Belk spoke about why she wanted to try the sport.

"The best part is I am doing it with my friends," she says. "It's actually so much tougher than I expected, so much more strategy, and it is something new and fun that I've never tried before".

Mecca says the growing demand of the sport led the Triangle Curling Club to open up its own facility in 1995. The club will continue to hold open houses and private lessons for anyone interested in playing the Olympic event.