Olympic figure skater Denis Ten, widely regarded as one of the finest in the sport and a long-term friend and rival of Spanish skater Javi Fernández, was killed on Thursday during an attempted robbery while driving through the streets of his native Almaty.
The 25-year-old, who won Olympic Bronze in Sochi in 2014 and was a silver medalist at the 2015 World Championships, was rushed to hospital after the attack but died of blood loss three hours later, local media agency Kazinform reported.
Ten’s death was greeted with shock in Kazakhstan and across the world of sport. “He had an incredible standing in skating and was a sporting legend, a source of pride for the whole country,” said Arystanbek Mukhamediuly, Kazakhstan’s minister for culture and sport.
IOC president Bach: "He was a great ambassador for his sport"
Rest in peace 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/a01vndbCWE— Javier Fernandez (@javierfernandez) 19 de julio de 2018
“Rest in peace,” wrote Fernández, whose career was aligned with Ten’s in recent years, the two regularly going head to head on the ice as in Sochi, where the Spaniard finished fourth.
“He was an inspiration for many people,” said American skater Adam Rippon.
The authorities in Kazakhstan have promised a thorough investigation of the attack as they seek to bring Ten’s assailants to justice.
“He was a great ambassador for his sport, a warm and charming person. It is a tragedy that he has lost his life at such a young age,” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.