The figure skating world was rocked off its foundation when news spread that 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten was stabbed to death in his native Kazahkstan this morning.
He was 25.
His death was devastating to his fans and especially his country, who enlisted his help in Almaty’s failed 2022 Winter Olympics bid. The backlash was swift and skaters gave their condolences to their fallen friend on Twitter, many unable to hold their emotions.
The news hit American figure skaters Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon especially hard, as they were training mates with Ten.
Ten was coached by the legendary Frank Carroll, the creator of many World Champions. Ten came out of no where in 2013, where he almost beat Canadian Patrick Chan at Worlds. It would be the first ever medal of any kind for Kazahkstan, the former Soviet republic. His free skate was one for the ages.
He would parlay that performance to a bronze medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014 and another bronze medal at Worlds in 2015.
After 2015, Ten struggled to get back to form, as injuries affected his skating the next three years. He won at Winter Universiade in his home city of Almaty in 2017. But he would struggle in Grand Prix competition later that year and finished 27th at the Winter Olympics in PeyongChang in February, missing out on the free skate. Ten was determined to get back to skating this season, hoping to get back to 2013 form. But sadly, he would be taken from this earth much too soon, the victim of a senseless homicide.
We can only wonder what greatness we could have experience from this bright shining star…dimmed.