Kazakh figure skater and Olympic medalist Denis Ten died Thursday after being stabbed in an attack in the streets of the country's largest city, a top Kazakh official confirmed on social media. He was 25.
Kazakh Minister of Culture and Sports Arystanbek Mukhamediuly wrote in a Facebook post that Ten, the first figure skater from Kazakhstan to earn an Olympic medal, died of stab wounds after thieves tried to steal the mirrors off his car in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
An emergency surgery to save Ten's life was unsuccessful, Mukhamediuly added.
"This is an unthinkable tragedy and irreparable loss," Mukhamediuly wrote in the post, according to a translation from Kazakh news agency Kazinform.
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The International Skating Union and International Olympic Committee also confirmed Ten's death on Twitter on Thursday morning.
"Denis Ten was a great athlete and a great ambassador for his sport," IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement. "A warm personality and a charming man. Such a tragedy to lose him at such a young age."
Ten was one of Kazakhstan's most accomplished individual athletes and its most prominent figure skater. He twice medaled at the World Figure Skating Championships — earning a silver in 2013 and a bronze in 2015 — and won bronze at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.
U.S. Olympian Adam Rippon was among those in the figure-skating community to pay tribute to Ten on social media.
"(Ten) was so kind to everyone and a huge inspiration to me and so many other people," Rippon wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning. "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."