On Thursday, July 19th, the figure skating community was appalled by the news of Denis Ten death. Much has been written about that in the last four days. However in this blog post I would like to focus on something else because Denis gave us a lot in his short 25 years in this world. Denis achieved so many things not only for himself but also for his country. Besides he was an inspiring person on and off the ice. Denis has undoubtedly left a mark in figure skating history.
Eventhough Kazakhstan is a huge country, it's skating federation is a small one. Skaters from small federations usually struggle with getting support. Denis was one of those skaters and there was even a phase in which he had to practise at a shopping center. Due to his persistence and commitment, Denis made it to the big flight.
Denis brought Kazakhstan the country's first ever figure skating olympic medal when he got the bronze in Sochi 2014. He was also the first kazakh skater to win a medal at the world championships. Actually, Denis won two world medals: silver in 2013 and bronze in 2015. In the 2014/2015 season, Denis became the first Kazakhstan skater to win gold at the 4 Continents Championships. Among other competitive achievements, Denis also won gold in the 2010/2011 Asian Games and claimed two medals at the french grand prix.
Denis charmed me and many other fans due to his posture, lines and charisma. His soft yet masculine style of skating enchanted me. There are several skaters that I admire and respect because of their technical ability and competitive spirit but with Denis there was more than that. His skating gives me goosebumps. Some of his programs are definitely on my all time favorite list. Some of these 10 selected programs, that you can watch below, are part of that list.
The step sequence in this SP gives me life :)
Hypnotic performance in his own show in Astana (2013) while paying tribute to his nation.
His piece de resistance: "The Artist" programs at Worlds 2013
FS - it's not just a competition; It's like he is living the program
Intense performance in the FS at Trophee de France 2016
His FS at 4CC 2015 is another proof that music wasn't just a backdrop in his programs
So much to admire in his FS at Worlds 2009!
SP at Worlds 2009
"Lose Yourself" at Stars on Ice China 2017
"Mi Mancherai" exhibition at Skate America 2014
Denis off-ice behavior was inspiring too. Throughout his career Denis had to overcome several injuries yet no one would ever hear him publically complain or use that as an excuse. His determination in making it to the PeyongChang Olympics in 2018 is an example of perseverance and understanding of the olympic spirit.
On top of his skating abilities, Denis had other facets. He was a talented musician and photographer.
Here's the vídeo where you can hear Denis song "She won't be mine"
Check D10 Instagram account to see some of his photos: https://www.instagram.com/d10world/
I would love if the Kazakhstan skating federation could organize an annual competition with his name. Afterall Denis was a vital in the development of this sport in Kazakhstan. Also let's not forget the impact of the show "Denis Ten & Friends" that allowed the kazakhs to watch in person several renown skaters.
Below you can watch one of the "Denis Ten & Friends" shows featuring many incredible skaters such as Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov, Joannie Rochette, Maia & Alex Shibutani and off course Denis himself.
Denis seemed to be an intelligent young man with a well articulated speech as it's obvious from his role on Almaty's bid for the 2022 olympics. He was also involved in politics in his home country but I don't know many details about it.
Let's not fail to recall his posts on social media. Please watch this little vídeo that Denis posted on his Instagram account past May. https://www.instagram.com/p/BjHJYi5DKld/?taken-by=tenis_den
1.º - Denis was writing a movie scrip. Famous director Timur Bekmambetov is interested in picking up this project and bring it to life.
2.º - Otabek Altin, an "Yuri on Ice" character, was inspired on Denis!
3.º - His total score at the 4 Continents Championships in 2015 is the seventh highest ever.
4.º - Denis always spoke of his country with great respect but he always acknowledged his korean heritage.
5.º - Denis once said on social media that he would like to have daughters in the future.
As long as we carry on watching his performances he will remain alive.
For all of this, Denis will live forever in our hearts