Say you put in years of judging at lower levels, watching a lot of bad skating with an occasional highlight, in run-down local rinks, sometimes shivering in hockey boxes when there is no judges' stand, often for hours on end in the cold with few breaks, sometimes with unappealing food served in hockey dressing rooms, etc. etc.
It's not glamorous, but judges do it because they want to support the sport, because they enjoy the process of analyzing skating even when it's not well done, because they occasionally get to see a standout talented skater at the local level, because they like to keep in touch with other officials they met through judging or have known since their own skating days.
Even international judges had to do this in their home countries and often continue to do so -- the sport needs judges to serve all the lower level skaters who may or may not filter up to the higher levels.
And say you're good at it and continue to train (in many cases at your own expense) to get accredited to judge at higher levels, including internationally.
Why go through all that if you won't ever be assigned to judge at that level that you trained for over all those years?
gkelly, thank you for keeping our attention on the fact that figure skating judging must serve the interests of the sport at all levels. not just the final flight at the Olympics.