Quote Originally Posted by kappa_1 View Post
Completely subjective view. To me, the power and beauty of Ito's athleticism pretty much trumps anyone who came before or after her. She is possibly the most athletic female figure skater of all time. Even though she was not a "pretty ice princess" her skating was gorgeous in its own right. She will go down as a legend, and I doubt anyone could argue otherwise.

Yuna has been the best ladies skater of the past quad and is a gorgeous skater. Her olympic lp left me cold, but I think that had to do with the incoherence of her music cut and choreography. The lark ascending and miss saigon were a bit better in this regard. To me, midori trumps yuna- although yuna has the balletic lines and sensitivity to the music, midori's choreography was already, in 1988, packed with transitions and difficult variations. Also, as an "artist", yuna is not even on the same level as lu chen, michelle kwan or even sasha. Yuna is one of my favorites now, but I have to defend Ito who is nothing less than legendary.
Well, subjectivity is a vast subject, and I won’t take the easy road of calling you guilty of subjectivity in your turn, in and for what you just said. Instead, I would like to say figure skating is ‘subjective,’ but in a very special way.

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.