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 Championships medallist, was taken to hospital but died three hours later.
Police have detained a suspect while they continue to search for a second.
“Unfortunately, [Ten] is not with us anymore,” said a government spokesman.
American figure skater Adam Rippon posted on social media: “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 popularise sport among youth. Denis was not only a prominent athlete, whose talent was recognised 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 Arystanbek Mukhamediuly, the country’s minister of culture and sport.
“This is an unthinkable tragedy and irreparable loss.”