Denis Yuryevich Ten (Денис Юрьевич Тен; born 13 June 1993) is a Kazakhstani figure skater. He is the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, the 2013 World silver medalist, the 2015 World bronze medalist, the 2015 Four Continents Champion, the 2011 Asian Winter Games champion, and a five-time national champion of Kazakhstan.
Ten is the first skater from Kazakhstan to stand on the podium at the World Championships, Four Continents Championships, Asian Winter Games, and Olympic Games. At the 2008–09 ISU Junior Grand Prix event in Belarus, he became the first skater from Kazakhstan to win an International Skating Union competition. His other accomplishments include qualifying two spots for his country in the men's event at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
Ten was the official ambassador for the Olympic Bidding Committee "Almaty 2022". He is a member of the Astana Presidential Sports Club and the Political Party "Nur Otan". In 2013, he began producing his own ice show, "Denis Ten and Friends". In summer 2014, he announced his co-operation with All That Sports management company established by Kim Yuna.
Denis Ten was born on 13 June 1993 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He is a member of the Korean minority in Kazakhstan. His great-great-grandfather, Min Geung-ho, was a famous Korean independence fighter general during the time of the Korean Empire when Korea fought for independence from Japan.
Ten attended music school for five years and competed as part of a choir. In 2002, his team won the silver medal at the World Choir Games, held in Busan, South Korea. This was Ten's first trip to that country. He also tried taekwando, karate, tennis, swimming and acrobatics.
Ten moved with his mother to Moscow, Russia in 2004 while his father and older brother, Alexei, remained in Kazakhstan. Ten already knew Russian — it is co-official in Kazakhstan and Ten's first language. In 2010, he moved with his mother to California.
In May 2014, Ten graduated from the Kazakh Academy of Sports and Tourism with a Red Diploma. He currently works on his MBA program (Oil and Gas) at the Business School of the Kazakh-British Technical University.
In July 2015, the media reported on Ten's interest in photography. He has a separate social media page, where he posts the photos he takes. Celebrities who have modeled for or collaborated with him include Dinara Baktybayeva, Aissulu Azimbayeva, Aliya Telebarisova (Kazakhstani actresses), Sabina Altynbekova, and Serik Sapiyev.
Ten began skating at an open-air rink in Almaty in winter and later practiced at an indoor rink in a shopping mall. In 2003, he traveled to Omsk in southwest Siberia, Russia, for a skating competition which he won. The head judge, Alexander Kogan, invited him to another competition in Odintsovo, Moscow region, where Ten met coach Elena Buianova (Vodorezova). Ten began training camps with her at CSKA Moscow and was later invited to join her group full-time.
Ten began competing internationally in the 2006–07 season at the age of 13, which was the first year he was age-eligible for International Skating Union (ISU) junior-level competition. On October 5, 2006, he debuted on the ISU Junior Grand Prix (JGP) at the 2006–07 JGP event in The Hague, Netherlands. Ten placed 14th in the short program and 7th in the free skate to place 10th overall. In November, he competed at the 2006 Coupe Internationale de Nice in Nice, France on the novice level. He won the event by 4.18 ahead of silver medalist Artur Gachinski.
In February 2007, Ten competed at the Dragon Trophy in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He won the junior men's event by 34.36 points over silver medalist Jason Thompson. Later that month, Ten competed at the 2007 World Junior Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany. He placed 26th in the short program and did not advance to the free skating portion of the event. He had placed 0.44 points below the final qualifier. Ten finished the season at the Haabersti Cup in Tallinn, Estonia, where he won the junior men's event by 16.34 points ahead of silver medalist Viktor Romanenkov.
Ten began the 2007–08 season on the 2007–08 JGP circuit. In September 2007, he competed at the JGP event in Miercurea Ciuc, Romania. He placed 3rd in the short program, 2.42 behind second-place finisher Ivan Bariev and 2.22 ahead of fourth-place finisher Andrew Lum. In the free skate, Ten placed 6th, and finished the event in 6th place overall, 5.09 points behind bronze medalist Takahito Mura. At Ten's second event two weeks later in Tallinn, he placed 10th in the short program and 10th in the free skate to place 10th overall. He finished the ISU Junior Grand Prix in 31st place to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final.
In November, Ten competed at the NRW Trophy on the junior level. He won both segments of the competition to win the gold medal by 22.59 points over silver medalist Gordei Gorshkov.
In February 2008, Ten competed at the 2008 World Junior Championships. He placed 8th in the short program, 3.36 points behind third-place finisher Brandon Mroz and 9.35 points behind first-place finisher Adam Rippon. In the short program, Ten was credited with a triple lutz–triple toe loop combination and received a level 4 on his change foot combination spin. In the free skate, Ten placed 19th after falling twice, once on a triple axel attempt, and the second time on his triple lutz. However, he was credited with rotating the triple axel. He placed 16th overall. Because of his placement at the World Junior Championships, Ten earned Kazakhstan the right to send one men's entry to every JGP event for the following season.
Ten began the 2008–09 season competing in the 2008–09 JGP. At his first event in Courchevel, France, he placed 5th in the short program and in the free skate to place 4th overall, placing 7.82 behind bronze medalist Florent Amodio. In his free skate, Ten landed a clean triple axel. By placing 4th in his first event, Ten entered into contention to potentially qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final. A month later, Ten competed at his second JGP event, the event in Gomel, Belarus. In the short program, Ten landed four triples, including a triple axel, to win the short program by a 5.19 point margin of victory over second-place finisher Stanislav Kovalev. In the free skate, Ten landed six triple jumps to place 2nd in that segment of the competition by 3.88 points behind Yang Chao. Ten won the competition by 4.60 total points ahead of silver medalist Yang. By winning this competition, Ten simultaneously became the first skater from Kazakhstan to medal at an ISU competition and to win an ISU competition. Following the eighth and final Junior Grand Prix event, Ten became the first skater from Kazakhstan to qualify for the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final, for which he was the seventh qualifier.
Ten was originally scheduled to make his senior international debut at the 2008 Ondrej Nepela Memorial in late November 2008. However, he officially withdrew following the short program draw and did not compete.
Later, Ten mentioned in the interviews that he had landed the quad jump at the end of 2008 but an injury forced him to scale down training of the jump.
Ten competed at the 2008–09 JGP Final in Seoul, South Korea, in December 2008. In the short program, he landed a triple axel, but fell on his combination jump and did not complete the combination to place 7th in that segment of the competition. In the free skating segment, Ten landed a triple axel-double toe loop combination and six other triple jumps to place 3rd in that segment of the competition. He placed 5th overall, 0.31 points behind 4th-place finisher Ivan Bariev, and 3.59 points behind bronze medalist Richard Dornbush.
In February 2009, Ten made his senior international debut at the 2009 Four Continents in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at the age of 15, the first year for which he was age-eligible for senior ISU championships. He placed 10th in the short program after landing a triple axel and a triple lutz, but missing his triple flip combination. He placed 8th in the free skate after landing six triples, including a triple axel-triple toe loop combination, but popping a solo triple axel and a triple flip. He placed 9th overall.
Two weeks later, Ten competed at the 2009 Junior Worlds. He placed 5th in the short program after being downgraded on the second jump in his triple-triple combination. In the free skate, Ten was credited with six triple jumps, including two triple axels, and received another downgrade on the second jump of his triple-triple combination. He placed 4th in that segment of the competition, placing 0.32 points behind third-place finisher Artem Grigoriev in that segment of the competition. Ten placed 4th overall, ending the competition 0.63 points behind bronze medalist Grigoriev.
Ten finished the season at the 2009 World Championships, where he was the youngest male skater at the competition. He placed 17th in the short program after being credited with four triples, including his triple axel and triple-triple combination. In the free skate, Ten was credited with eight triple jumps, the maximum number of triple jumps allowed, to place 6th in that segment of the competition. He placed 8th overall and qualified two spots for Kazakhstan to the Olympics for the first time in history.
Ten won the 2009 Golden Spin of Zagreb and placed fourth overall in the 2009 NRW Trophy. After he made his Senior debut in the 2009–10 Grand Prix series, where he was assigned to the 2009 Cup of China and the 2009 Skate Canada International. He placed tenth at the 2009 Cup of China with 182.63 points and seventh at the 2009 Skate Canada scoring 193.33 overall.
At the 2010 Four Continents, he earned 70.50 points in the short program, where he placed fourth. He came in fourteenth position in the free skate scoring 102.15 after falling on two of his jumps. He finished tenth with a combined score of 172.65 points.
At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Ten received a score of 76.24 points in the short program, placing tenth. He was fourteenth in the free skate with 135.01 points to finish eleventh overall with a total score of 211.25.
At the 2010 World Championships, Ten was in ninth place after the short program and placed fifteenth in the free skate with a score of 125.06 points. He finished 13th with 202.46 points overall. Following the World Championship, he announced a coaching change to Frank Carroll and relocated with his mother to California. Ten also works with Rafael Arutyunyan.
During the 2010–11 Grand Prix season, Ten competed at the 2010 NHK Trophy and the 2010 Skate America. At NHK, he placed 6th in the short program but his long program saw him fall to 11th overall. At Skate America, he also placed sixth in the short program but dropped to 12th overall after the long program.
Ten won the gold medal at the 2011 Asian Winter Games with a first place in the short program and third in the long.
Ten was assigned to 2011 Skate America and 2011 Skate Canada International. He placed 5th in both events. At the 2012 Worlds in Nice, France, Ten finished 7th, his best result at a World Championships until this season.
Ten placed 6th at 2012 Skate Canada International, 9th at 2012 Rostelecom Cup and 12th at the 2013 Four Continents Championships. Later he explained that he had a series of injuries during the earlier part of the season, which prevented him from performing to his capacity.
At the 2013 World Championships, he scored a personal best of 91.56 points in the short program — second only to Patrick Chan — and received a small silver medal for the segment. Another personal best, 174.92 points, saw him place first in the long program and win a small gold medal. Overall, Ten won the silver medal with a total score of 266.48 points — just 1.3 points less than Chan. He became the first person from Kazakhstan to stand on a World podium in figure skating.
In June 2013, Carroll and Ten moved to the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Ten withdrew from his first 2013–14 Grand Prix assignment, the 2013 Skate America, due to an infection causing black spots on his ankles and an infection in his jaw. He competed at the 2013 Cup of China and placed fourth.
In February 2014, Ten competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He placed ninth in the short program, third in the free skate, and won the bronze medal — it was the first ever Olympic medal for Kazakhstan in figure skating. He wore unmatched boots after having tried six pairs. Ten was named Breakthrough of the Year by the Agency of Sport and Physical Education of Kazakhstan and awarded a car by the mayor of Almaty. He did not participate in the 2014 World Championships.
During the summer, Ten's ice show Olympic Energy brought international skaters, including twelve Olympic medalists, to Kazakhstan, with the proceeds supporting the sport's development in the country and the treatment of a child with neuroleukemia.
For the 2014–15 season, Ten was assigned to the 2014 Skate America and 2014 Trophée Éric Bompard. At the Skate America event, he fell on the opening quadruple jumps in both the short program and the free skating, and earned fourth. At the Trophée Éric Bompard competition, he placed first in the short program, then won bronze after the free skating. In December, at the 2014 Golden Spin of Zagreb event, he won gold.
At the 2015 Four Continents Championships in Seoul, Korea, Ten set personal best scores of 97.61 and 191.85 points in the short program and free skating, respectively. He placed first in both segments of the competition and won the title with total points of 289.46, the third highest score at an ISU championship.
At the 2015 World Championships, Ten was in third place after the short program and first in the free skate. He won the bronze medal.
For the 2015–16 season, Ten was assigned to the 2015 Skate America and 2015 Trophée Éric Bompard. Ten planned to start the season at the 2015 Skate Canada Autumn Classic, but had to withdraw due to an injury. With the lower back and hip injury, he placed 9th at the 2015 Skate America. At the 2015 Trophée Éric Bompard, he placed 4th at the short program segment of the competition, but the event got cancelled after the first day.
Ten withdrew from the 2016 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, again due to an injury. After that, he placed 2nd at the 2016 Coupe du Printemps competition with a new free skating program, Romeo and Juliet. At the competition, he tried the quad salchow jump in his free skating, but it was not successful.
He has a charismatic presence on the ice, which is noted by skating critiques.
|Season||Short program||Free skating||Exhibition|
|2016–2017 || || |
|2015–2016 || || || |
|2014–2015 || || || |
|2013–2014 || || || |
|2012–2013 ||The Artist |
by Ludovic Bource:
|The Artist |
by Ludovic Bource:
|2011–2012 || || || |
|2010–2011 || || |
|2009–2010 || || || |
|2008–2009 || || || |
|2007–2008 || || |
|2006–2007 || || |
GP: Grand Prix; CS: Challenger Series; JGP: Junior Grand Prix
|GP Cup of China||10th||4th|
|GP NHK Trophy||12th|
|GP Rostel. Cup||9th|
|GP Skate America||11th||5th||WD||4th||9th||WD|
|GP Skate Canada||7th||5th||6th|
|CS Golden Spin||1st||2nd||1st||1st||WD|
|Volvo Open Cup||1st|
|Nestle Cup||1st J|
|NRW Trophy||1st J|
|Seibt Memorial||1st J|
|Haabersti Cup||1st J|
|Dragon Trophy||1st J|
|Cup of Nice||1st N|
|Team Challenge |
|3rd T |
|Levels: N = Novice; J = Junior |
TBD = Assigned, WD = Withdrew
T = Team result; P = Personal result. Medals awarded for team result only.
|11–13 November 2016||2016 Trophée de France||3 |
|March 28 – April 3, 2016||2016 World Championships||12 |
|March 11–13, 2016||2016 Coupe du Printemps||1 |
|December 3–5, 2015||2015 Golden Spin of Zagreb||1 |
|November 24–29, 2015||2015 NRW Trophy||3 |
|November 13–15, 2015||2015 Trophée Éric Bompard||4 |
|October 23–25, 2015||2015 Skate America||6 |
|March 23–29, 2015||2015 World Championships||3 |
|February 9–15, 2015||2015 Four Continents Championships||1 |
|December 4–7, 2014||2014 Golden Spin of Zagreb||1 |
|November 21–23, 2014||2014 Trophée Éric Bompard||1 |
|October 24–26, 2014||2014 Skate America||4 |
|February 6–22, 2014||2014 Winter Olympics||9 |
|January 20–25, 2014||2014 Four Continents Championships||5 |
|November 19–24, 2013||2013 Ice Challenge||1 |
|November 14–17, 2013||2013 Merano Cup||1 |
|November 1–3, 2013||2013 Cup of China||4 |
|March 10–17, 2013||2013 World Championships||2 |
|February 6–11, 2013||2013 Four Continents Championships||7 |
|January 1–10, 2013||20th Volvo Open Cup||1 |
|November 9–11, 2012||2012 Rostelecom Cup||9 |
|October 26–28, 2012||2012 Skate Canada International||4 |
|September 27–29, 2012||2012 Nebelhorn Trophy||4 |
|March 26 – April 1, 2012||2012 World Championships||8 |