Professional and Olympian ice skater, Denis Ten passed away on Wednesday, July 18 after been stabbed in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the New York Times reports.
The tragic incident took place after the skater became involved in a verbal altercation with two robbers who were trying to steal mirrors from his car. Russian outlet RT notes that pedestrians found Ten unconscious on the street and that he was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery.
The International Skating Union in a statement confirmed his death.
“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.”
In 2014, Ten was rewarded with a bronze medal in men’s figure skating during the Sochi winter games. This made him the first Kazakh ice skater to win an Olympic medal.
Fellow athlete Adam Rippon took to Instagram on Thursday to honor Ten in an emotional tribute. “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,” Rippon captioned a throwback photo with Ten. “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 ?”
Meryl Davis also sent her condolences in a tweet. “So very saddened by the loss of this special young man. Denis, your heart, passion, kindness & generosity will not be forgotten,” “My thoughts are with your family, friends & fans whose lives you’ve made brighter. What a devastating loss for our skating family.”