Kazakhstan’s Olympic medal-winning figure skater Denis Ten has been stabbed to death at the age of 25.
News agency Kazinform reported Ten – who won bronze at Sochi 2014 – was stabbed in the thigh in Almaty on Thursday after two men tried to steal his car mirrors.
Ten, twice a World Championship medallist, was rushed to hospital but died three hours later of his injuries.
“Unfortunately, he is not with us anymore,” said a government spokesman.
American figure skater Adam Rippon wrote on Twitter: “He was so kind to everyone and a huge inspiration to me and so many other people.
“Denis, thank you for showing us how to be a champion. Your time with us was way too short.”
February’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang was Ten’s third Games, having made his Olympic debut at Vancouver 2010.
He finished 27th at the Games in South Korea.
“His outstanding achievements glorified our country and helped popularize sport among youth. Denis was not only a prominent athlete, whose talent was recognized and revered in many countries of the world, but also a man of marked individuality, a true patriot,” the president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
“Denis Ten was an incredible figure skater, the legend of our sport, our pride,” said Kazakhstan’s Minister of Culture and Sport, Arystanbek Mukhamediuly.
“This is an unthinkable tragedy and irreparable loss.”