Yuri!!! on Ice Staff Mourn the Death of Olympic Figure Skater Denis Ten

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

In an unfortunate tragedy, Kazakhstani figure skater and Olympian Denis Ten was murdered in the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan on Thursday. Ten, who won the bronze medal at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, approached two individuals who were stealing the mirrors from his car. The confrontation resulted in a fight and Ten was stabbed in the thigh. The 25-year-old skater later died in the hospital from his wounds.

Authorities in Almaty have a suspect in custody, identified as 24-year-old Nurali Kiyasov.

News of Ten's death spread over social media and attracted the attention of Yuri!!! on Ice staff, including director Sayo Yamamoto. Ten was suspected by many fans to be the inspiration for the series' character Otabek Altin, also Kazakhstani. Yamamoto wrote on Twitter, "I'm still having a difficult time accepting this tragedy. Had I never encountered Denis Ten's skating, Yuri!!! would not be what it is today. Denis' skating was truly one of a kind and he has gifted us with so much inspiration. Respect. Always and forever."

She also shared the same message in Japanese on Twitter. The official Yuri!!! on Ice Twitter account also shared a separate message from staff, in English. They wrote, "Hero of Kazakhstan, Denis Ten. We are at a loss for words. We so wanted to see many more of your amazing performances. You'll always be in our hearts. May you forever rest in peace." The account shared the same message in Russian and Japanese.

Denis Ten's Olympic skating win was the first ever for Kazakhstan. The Kazakhstan Minister of Culture and Sport Arystanbek Mukhamediuly rememebered Ten as "an incredible figure skater, the legend of our sport, our pride." Ten said in 2015, after winning his bronze medal, "It was a great surprise. It was a first medal for my country. 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.”

Thanks to Merida and Rukiia for the news tips

Source: Agence France Presse, The Guardian

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