Olympic medal-winning figure skater Denis Ten, 25, was rushed to the hospital after being stabbed to death during a robbery attempt in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The tragedy has struck the figure skating and Olympics community hard, drawing in tributes for the young and accomplished athlete.
Local news outlet Tengri News reported that the Kazakh skater caught two unidentified men rummaging through his car. According to the Almaty Department of Internal Affairs, they were “trying to steal mirrors.” A fight ensued and Ten was stabbed. Despite attempts to resuscitate him at the hospital, Ten had lost too much blood.
The suspects are still at large.
The sudden death of Ten has drawn a lot of attention from outlets like ISU Figure Skating and even the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach.
The ISU is deeply saddened by the news from media in Kazakhstan announcing the passing of Figure Skater Denis Ten. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Denis' family, friends and fans across the world. pic.twitter.com/1w7Isb9HJC
— ISU Figure Skating (@ISU_Figure) July 19, 2018
“Denis Ten was a great athlete and a great ambassador for his sport. A warm personality and a charming man. Such a tragedy to lose him at such a young age.” -IOC President Thomas Bach pic.twitter.com/YIZhBHy6Fi
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 19, 2018
Fellow Olympian figure skater Adam Rippon, a friend of Ten’s, spoke out about the horrific incident, stating that the Kazakh skater was “kind to everyone and a huge inspiration to me and so many other people.”
My skating friend, @Tenis_Den, 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.
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) July 19, 2018
Fellow figure skater Mirai Nagasu also commented on the brutal murder, revealing that she used to train with him and that his commitment was something she “always admired.”
The news of @Tenis_Den ‘s murder hits especially hard for me since I used to train with him. His commitment to his training was something I always admired. It’s hard to believe he is no longer with us and that he’ll no longer be able to share his talents with us.
— Mirai Nagasu (@mirai_nagasu) July 19, 2018
Even Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, hosts of the Food Network’s Wedding Cake Championship, came in singing praise for Ten, calling him “one of the most talented and moving artists to ever take the ice” and “as bright and kind as he was talented.”
I’m shocked and incredibly saddened to wake up to the news of Denis Ten passing. I can’t believe it. He was one of the most talented and moving artists to ever take to the ice. We lost a beautiful soul both on and off the ice. Heartbreaking. What a huge loss.
— Tara Lipinski (@taralipinski) July 19, 2018
Completely devastated by the passing of Denis Ten. He was as bright and kind as he was talented. This is such an incredible loss and tragedy. My heart is with his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/pXGB2OdvYg
— Johnny Weir (@JohnnyGWeir) July 19, 2018
Praise for Ten, who won three gold medals over the course of his career, flowed in over social media outlets, especially from fellow figure skaters all around the world, who had nothing but kind words to say.
I feel so honored and grateful to have shared the ice with @Tenis_Den. One of the most beautiful skaters to have graced our sport. My thoughts are with his family during this unimaginable time. I feel so lucky to have made memories with Denis that I will cherish forever…
— Patrick Chan (@Pchiddy) July 19, 2018
So sad to hear of Denis Ten's tragic passing. He was as kind as he was talented. It was an honour to share the ice with him. You will be greatly missed, Denis.
— Scott Moir (@ScottMoir) July 19, 2018
Truly devastated. Seeing news reports on @Tenis_Den this morning… he was an inspiration, incredible athlete and friend. Thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones.
— Nate Bartholomay (@NateBartholomay) July 19, 2018
In tears over a report I just read confirming the passing of @Tenis_Den – praying that I haven’t woken up yet today and this is just a horrible dream. Brilliant skater, but one of the best people this sport has produced. Stunned.
— John Coughlin (@JohnCoughlinUSA) July 19, 2018
The shocked response stretches well-beyond the figure skating community, as well.
i can't believe it
i cheered so hard for denis ten this past year, i only just got to know him and he's gone
i'm so sorry for this upsetting tweet i'm so incredibly heartbroken
— ⛸ ✨ ジンちゃんさん ✨ ⛸ (@denkimouse) July 19, 2018
Absolutely SHOCKED and saddened to hear Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten has died from stab wounds after a senseless robbery attempt in Almaty. No one more kind, well spoken or good hearted in figure skating. RIP, champ
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) July 19, 2018
Heartbreaking to hear about Denis Ten. May he Rest In Peace pic.twitter.com/d8EkoJAOWi
— Sofia (@LaLaLoveit87) July 19, 2018
I hate this world where Denis Ten is killed by stupid heartless people. Rest in peace Denis, one of the nicest human beings pic.twitter.com/CeX45K27fZ
— thatterslife (@TT_KZ_GT) July 19, 2018
Ten’s last performance in the Olympics was at the South Korean games, where he placed 27th due to ankle, back, and hip injuries.
Memorial services for Ten have not been scheduled yet, but if it’s public, we can assume there will be quite the crowd in attendance.