Whistler's first confirmed Olympian will also, likely, end up being one of its youngest.
The Whistlerite, who turned 19 on Dec. 22, was one of eight Canadian lugers named to the national team that will compete in PyeongChang, South Korea in February. Joining him on the men's team are Sam Edney and Mitchel Malyk, while the women's team features Kim McRae, Alex Gough and Brooke Apshkrum. The doubles team of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith will also be going.
With this likely being Edney's last Games, Watts was certainly on track as a frontrunner to represent Canada in 2022 in Beijing, but after pushing himself hard in recent seasons, Watts earned himself the chance to bump up his Olympic debut a full four years.
"I'm really happy. It's a good feeling now that it's official after having this goal two years ago," Watts said.
After taking 25th in Lake Placid, N.Y. to cap the first half of the 2018 Viessmann FIL World Cup season, Watts calculated that he had enough points to crack the team, but was relieved to get the official word. Watts had a tough start to the season as he narrowly missed out on qualifying for the first two World Cup races at Igls and Winterberg in the Nation's Cup competitions. However, a return to Calgary earlier this month followed by the Lake Placid race were a bounce-back for the first Whistler Sliding Centre legacy baby to crack the Olympics.
"It wasn't the start to my season that I wanted, but it was enough. I had two pretty good races (after those), so I'm happy," he said.
For the full story, pick up Pique on Dec. 28.