A 25-year-old Olympic bronze medallist has been stabbed to death in the Kazakhstani city of Almaty.
Denis Ten, who took home the third-place medal in figure skating at the Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014, was reportedly stabbed in the thigh during an attempt by two men to steal his car’s mirrors.
Ten was then taken to hospital but died as a result of the wound several hours later. The news was reported by Kazakh news agency Kazinform who reported a government spokesperson as having said: “Unfortunately, he is not with us anymore”.
The country’s Ministry of Healthcare will hold a press briefing later today.
Ten won two Figure Skating World Championships as well as his Olympic bronze medal, he had also appeared at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 2010 games in Vancouver. In the latest games he finished 27th.
Kazakhstan’s minister for culture and sport, Arystanbek Mukhamediuly, said: “Denis Ten was an incredible figure skater, the legend of our sport, our pride,
“This is an unthinkable tragedy and irreparable loss.”
The attack saw Ten lose several litres of blood after being stabbed. He held on for three hours after being rushed to a hospital in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, before he eventually lost his fight.
The Kazakh Ministry for Internal Affairs has promised that the incident will be thoroughly investigated to find those responsible for the young man’s death.
Tributes have been paid from around the figure skating world after the news emerged on Thursday. Canada’s skating authority, Skate Canada/Patinage Canada, tweeted: “We are shocked and saddened by the news of Denis Ten’s tragic passing. Our deepest condolences go out to Denis’ family and friends, and the worldwide skating family.”
USA figure skater Adam Rippon said: My skating friend, @Tenis_Den [Denis Ten], passed away today. He was so kind to everyone and a huge inspiration to me and so many other people.
“Murdered in the streets of Kazakhstan. Denis, thank you for showing us how to be a champion. Your time with us was way too short. Love you forever.
RIP, Denis Ten.