Olympic Figure Skater Denis Ten Dies In Stabbing Incident In Kazakhstan

By John Carlo A. Villaruel
on Jul 20, 2018 08:48 AM EDT
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Decorated figure skater Denis Ten passed away on Thursday after being stabbed by car thieves on Thursday in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Ten who won the 2014 Olympic bronze medal in Sochi was reportedly involved in a heated altercation with two men who tried to steal the mirrors from his vehicle. Ten lost three liters of blood before being brought to the hospital where he eventually died from his injuries. He was 25.

The Almaty Department of Internal Affairs said in a statement that an investigation pertaining to Ten's death has been conducted by the authorities. Kazakh Minister of Culture and Sport, Arystanbek Mukhamediuly, also extended his condolences to the family of Ten.

"Denis Ten caught two unidentified persons trying to steal mirrors from his car. As a result of a brawl, citizen Denis Ten was stabbed. An investigation has been initiated; measures are being taken to identify and detain suspects," the Almaty Department of Internal Affairs said.

The Almaty native figure skater was a member of the Korean minority community in Kazakhstan. Ten moved to Moscow when he was 10 to start his figure skating career before working with renowned skating coach Frank Carroll in California.

A Big Loss For Kazakhstan

The 25-year-old Ten was one of the most sought-after individual athletes of Kazakhstan. He was a two-time medalist in the coveted World Figure Skating Championships wherein Ten won a silver in 2013 and a bronze in 2015. 

Additionally, Ten also became just the fourth Kazakh athlete to win a medal in the Winter Olympics. Just last month, Ten played host to the ice show known as Denis and Friends wherein he brought famous skaters from around the world to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Astana as the nation's capital.

Sports World Mourns Ten's Loss

U.S. Olympian Adam Rippon paid tribute to Ten's contributions to the figure skating world, citing that the Kazakh star was a huge inspiration to him. On the other hand, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach also mourned Ten's death, saying that he was a great ambassador for his sport.

"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," Bach said in a statement.

Ten is coming off a 27th place finish in this year's Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Ten was suffering from hip, ankle, and back injuries but he still competed to pay tribute to his Korean heritage.

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