A figure skating event takes place in front of an audience, and a skater and her/his program are supposed to engage the audience and get a specific response from them. When the audience is enthralled, now that’s a subjective response, but at a collective scale. People say the scores judges give out are influenced by the audience reaction; is it an undue influence? I don’t think so. The ISU rules, for instance, require the judges not to use slow-motion replays in certain circumstances. Why? It’s because they want the judges to judge using humanly-available, intuitive means, unassisted by technology, just like the audience. What this says, in turn, is that figure skating is to an extent about that ‘communal experience’ afforded at a specific venue, at a specific time, by a specific audience present, more than, say, how a jump 'really' was, which can be viewed and analyzed to quite inhuman details thank to today’s technology.
So, now let’s take the example of Yuna’s free program in Vancouver, since it’s the latest Olympic gold performance, every broadcaster, or nearly every one of them, around the world declared that she had won the gold, before even the score came out, before any slow motion replays were streamed. How do we know this? Subjective though we all are, in those rare moments, we all experience the same beauty. When a figure skater wins the Olympic gold ‘fair and square,’ she won more than an objective basis or on metered and measurable aspects, but she won by blurring boundaries between what’s objective and what’s subjective.