Suspect Detained for Murder of Olympic Figure Skater Denis Ten

A suspect has been detained in connection with the death of Olympic figure skater Denis Ten, according to multiple reports. Kazakhstan's Interior Ministry released a statement Friday announcing it had identified two suspects in the 25-year-old's death, one of whom had been detained.

The suspect had been detained on Friday, a day after the athlete's death, and had "confessed his guilt in the presence of an attorney," Almaty Prosecutor Berik Zhuirektayev told Kazhak news agency Kazinform.

The news outlet also reported that a second suspect had been identified. The Associated Press reports that a photo of the suspect has been released and authorities continued to search for them.

Prosecutors are treating Ten's death as a murder. Ten died after he was stabbed when men attempted to steal mirrors from his car in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty. Russian news agency TASS reported that Ten was found unconscious on the street by pedestrians, who called an ambulance. He was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery, but died around 3 p.m. local time Thursday.

Ten won a bronze medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the first Olympic skating medal ever won by Kazakhstan. He spoke about how much the Olympic medal meant to him, to his country and to those close to him.

"It was a great surprise. It was a first [Olympic figure skating ] medal for my country," he said in 2015. "I'm grateful to people, they still congratulate me ... Mostly I was happy for my parents and for my coaches who were so supportive despite all the challenges we had to overcome."

Ten also won silver and bronze at the 2013 and 2015 world championships, respectively, and finished 27th at this year's Olympics in South Korea after a season dotted with injuries.

"The ISU is deeply saddened by the news from media in Kazakhstan announcing the passing of Figure Skater Denis Ten," the International Skating Union said in a statement on Thursday. "Our heartfelt condolences go out to Denis' family, friends and fans across the world."

In a separate statement, IOC President Thomas Bach said, "Denis Ten was a great athlete and a great ambassador for his sport. A warm personality and a charming man. Such a tragedy to lose him at such a young age."

Ten was born in Almaty but spent part of his early training years in California, working with coach Frank Carroll.


"Denis Ten was an incredible figure skater, the legend of our sport, our pride," Kazakhstan's minister of culture and sport, Arystanbek Mukhamediuly, said, according to the BBC. "This is an unthinkable tragedy and irreparable loss."