Reid Watts, 17, won Canada's first medal at the Youth Olympic Games, earning bronze in the men's luge event Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway.

Watts, from Whistler, B.C., raced to a time of 1, 35.994 seconds.

"This is absolutely awesome. I'm super excited about this," said Watts. "I really felt that if I had two really good runs, I could be on that podium. I put down two consistent runs, and I did it.

"It is so special for me to represent my country, but to win the first medal for Canada at the Games so far is even more exciting. I hope the entire Canadian team here can build on this and we are able to celebrate many more in the next week."

Kristers Aparajods of Latvia won the event in 1:35.309, while German Paul-Lukas Heider captured silver in 1:35.955.

Watts sat in fifth spot after his opening run down the flowing 12-corner track that played host to the 1994 Olympic Winter Games. But resilient Watts, who endured a broken boot during the opening run, rallied to a podium finish after posting the second-fastest final run.

"I came to this track last year for junior world championships and I really struggled," he said. "It is more of a gliding track and not very technical so it was one of the more challenging tracks for me on the circuit," said the 17-year-old high-achieving Grade 11 student who rocked the second-fastest start times in both heats.

"It is hard to be fast on these tracks, but I came back here this week and just focused on having fun and putting together two solid runs and things changed for me. I am super excited right now."

Watts' best finish prior to Sunday's bronze-medal effort was a ninth-place showing at the Youth World Cup event in 2014. 

Here's how other Canadian athletes fared on Sunday:

Mixed curling

  • Canada def. Sweden, 5-3
  • Canada def. Norway, 4-2

Figure skating

Ice dance short program

  • Marjorie Lajoie (Longueuil, Que.), Zachary Lagha, (Saint-Hubert, Que.), 5th

Freestyle skiing

Women's halfpipe

  • Mackenzie Wilson (Whistler, B.C.), 5th

Men's halfpipe

  • Evan Marineau (Calgary), 7th


Women's halfpipe

  • Kira Lengkeek (Airdrie, Alta.), 6th
  • Baily McDonald (Barrie, Ont.), 17th

Alpine skiing

Women's combined slalom

  • Amelia Smart (Invermere, B.C.), 8th


Men's 7.5km sprint

  • Ben Churchill (Calgary), 17th
  • Leo Grandbois (Lennoxville, Que.), 22nd

Women's 6km sprint

  • Gillian Gowling (Calgary), 30th
  • Tekarra Banser (Kelowna, B.C.), 35th
With files from Luge Canada