I've noticed it, too. But I noticed it at NHK as well. I wonder if it's more to do with the skaters themselves and not the ice? Maybe they're not clean on their edges even more so now than in the past? I don't know?
More likely an issue of mic-ing and/or sound-mixing.
ETA: Given that you hear it A LOT toward the edges of the rink, and not towards the center, I'm sticking to this view.
Last edited by SerpentineSteps; 10-30-2010 at 09:10 PM.