Denis Ten, a figure skater who won a Bronze Medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, died on Thursday after being stabbed during a dispute in Kazakhstan.
He was 25 years old.
According to BBC News, Ten died of the wounds he suffered after two men tried to steal car mirrors during a mugging.
It’s unclear at this time whether Ten fought back or just what precipated the fatal stabbing, but “he is not with us anymore,” a Kazakh government spokesman has said on record.
The Olympian was in his home city of Almaty when the tragedy occurred.
Canadian skater Patrick Chan, who won silver in the same competition four years ago, wrote on Twitter he was “honored and grateful to have shared the ice” with Ten, adding:
“One of the most beautiful skaters to have graced our sport. My thoughts are with his family during this unimaginable time.”
As news of this murder has spread around the Internet and the skating community, tributes have come flooding in from all areas of the globe.
This is what American figure skater Adam Rippon has said in the wake of the terrible news:
“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.”
The International Skating Union said it was “deeply saddened” by news of Ten’s death.
“Today is truly a dark day for all of us who knew and loved this young figure skater and were inspired by his talent and creativity,” Kazakhstan Olympic Committee president Timur Kulibayev said in a statement.
“Throughout his sporting career, Denis set an example with his motivation, strength of spirit and his champion’s personality.”
Ten also won the Four Continents championships in 2015 and was a world championship silver medalist in 2013.
However, he struggled with injuries in recent years and could manage only 27th at the Olympics in Pyeongchang in February.
He had hinted at retirement at various points since then, talking in public about his studies in economics and his plans to write a movie script.
“Completely devastated by the passing of Denis Ten,” Tweeted Johnny Weir, adding:
“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.”
“Denis Ten was an incredible figure skater, the legend of our sport, our pride,” said the minister of culture and sport of Kazakhstan Arystanbek Mukhamediuly, via BBC.
“This is an unthinkable tragedy and irreparable loss.”
Our thoughts go out to his family members, friends and loved ones.
May Denis Ten rest in peace.