Adam Rippon leads loving tributes to Olympic skater stabbed to death in Kazakhstan

Olympian Adam Rippon attends the 2018 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2018 in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Time)

Adam Rippon has led tributes to his fellow Olympic figure skater Denis Ten, who was stabbed to death in Kazakhstan on Thursday, aged 25.

Ten, who won bronze for Kazakhstan at Sochi in 2014, was reportedly stabbed in the thigh in Almaty on Thursday, when two men attempted to rob his car mirrors, according to the BBC. 

Taking to Twitter, Rippon, who has competed against Ten, wrote: “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. 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.”

Ten, a twice World Championships medallist, died in hospital about three hours after the attack.

He came 27th at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang earlier this year, where Rippon received a bronze medal in the team figure skating event.

Ten had competed at two Winter Olympics previously.

Denis Ten dies on Thursday. (Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

Responding to the news, Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev said: His outstanding achievements glorified our country and helped popularise sport among youth.

Other skaters have also paid tribute to Ten following news of his death.

Canadian pair skater Eric Radford, who won gold in the team event at Pyeongchang 2018, wrote on Twitter: “I am so shocked and saddened by the news of Denis Ten. He was one of the most talented skaters on the planet and such a kind, smart and thoughtful human being. I always felt honoured to share the ice with him.

“My heart goes to his family.”

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said: “His outstanding achievements glorified our country and helped popularise sport among youth.

“Denis was not only a prominent athlete, whose talent was recognised and revered in many countries of the world, but also a man of marked individuality, a true patriot.”

Arystanbek Mukhamediuly, minister of culture and sport in the country, said: “Denis Ten was an incredible figure skater, the legend of our sport, our pride.

“This is an unthinkable tragedy and irreparable loss.”

According to the Independent, police have identified two suspects over the attack, and have detained one of them.