MOSCOW — Prosecutors in Kazakhstan say Olympic figure skating medalist Denis Ten has been killed, and they are treating the case as murder.
Kazakh news agencies report Ten was stabbed after a dispute with people who tried to steal a mirror from his car in his home city of Almaty.
Doctors in Almaty say he died in hospital there. He was aged 25.
“Today is truly a dark day for all of us who knew and loved this young figure skater and were inspired by his talent and creativity,” Kazakhstan Olympic Committee president Timur Kulibayev said in a statement. “Throughout his sporting career, Denis set an example with his motivation, strength of spirit and his champion’s personality.”
Born in Kazakhstan to a family of Korean descent, Ten won bronze at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, becoming Kazakhstan’s first medalist in figure skating.
He also won the Four Continents championships the following year, and was a world championship silver medalist in 2013.
Ten struggled with injuries in recent years and could manage only 27th at the Olympics in Pyeongchang in February.
Ten hadn’t formally retired from skating but in recent months he’d often spoken of his studies in economics and his plans to write a movie script.