With his bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics, Mārtiņš Rubenis became Latvia's first Winter Olympic medallist, although several bobsledders had medalled while the country formed part of the Soviet Union. Rubenis débuted at the Olympics in 1998, the year in which he became World Junior Champion. His breakthrough to the top came in 2003, when he placed second at the World Championships, and also won a silver medal with the Latvian team. He again medalled the next year (bronze), but has since rarely made the podium. At the European Luge Championships, however, he did win medals in the team competition, becoming champion in 2008 and winning bronze in 2006.