Law enforcement officials out of Kazakhstan have confirmed the brutal slaying of Olympic figure skater Denis Ten. According to People, the Kazakh medalist was attacked by two alleged thieves who were attempting to steal the mirrors off of his vehicle. The three men reportedly argued before the stabbing occurred.
A passerby happened upon Denis Ten’s unconscious body after the two suspects fled the scene. Ten was transported to a hospital, but medical professionals were unable to save him. The New York Times indicated that CPR was administered for at least two hours, but Ten ultimately succumbed to the massive blood loss he sustained from the stabbing wounds. Kazakhstan police have launched a homicide investigation and are currently looking for the two alleged assailants.
Denis Ten was Kazakhstan’s first skater to earn a win during a competition held by the International Skating Union. Throughout his career, Ten skated his way to several other championship honors, including a bronze medal at the 2014 Olympics and being named the champion of the 2014 Four Continents competition.
Denis Ten had recently struggled with injuries, and this dropped him all the way to 27th place in the 2018 Olympics. Per ESPN, Ten appeared to be ready to move on from the sports world. No official retirement announcement had been made, but the 25-year-old had publicly discussed his intention to write a movie script. He was also studying economics.
The International Olympic Committee’s president, Thomas Bach, issued a statement Thursday morning.
“Denis Ten was a great athlete and a great ambassador for his sport. Such a warm personality and a charming man. Such a tragedy to lose him at such a young age.”
The figure skating and Olympic community also came together on Twitter to mourn the athlete’s passing.
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
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
Kazakhstan has a lower than global homicide average rate of 4.8 cases out of every 100,000 people. The United States is slightly higher at 4.9, and the worldwide average is 6.2. Regardless of these statistics, the figure skating world has lost a star who was once described by Canadian choreographer Lori Nichol as being “highly individual” and having “deep, profound passion.”
Investigators into Ten’s death haven’t released any details regarding possible suspects or witnesses. This ongoing investigation has been placed under a global microscope, though, and the media attention is likely to put a lot of pressure on local police to solve Denis Ten’s murder as quickly as possible.