I think if Mao wins the Sochi Olympics she will have to be considered the best female skater ever. Here is why:
-She would have for sure won the 2006 Olympics if she were allowed to compete. This was not a fault of ability, it was the fault of a silly rule which would have denied Lipinski and Kwan all their 96-98 success had it been in place, would have denied Baiul her whole career. So that would be an unawarded 2006 Olympic Gold, a 2010 Olympic silver with a historic 3 triple axels and great artistry which would have won any other Olympics, and a 2014 Olympic Gold.
-She would win the Worlds in Japan a month later if she wins the Olympics. This would make her a 3 time World Champion to go with her 2 Olympic Golds (1 unawarded due to silly age rule) and Olympic silver.
Most of all she is the perfect combination of both technical risk taking, great spins and spirals, and beautiful artistry. Kim is raved about for her technical ability but she does not push the sport forward with triple axels and hard triple-triples like Mao does. Mao also has the most exquisite positions and lines, she is every bit as strong as say Sasha Cohen in those areas, but with much stronger basic skating than Sasha to go with. All her elements are strong, there really is no weakness in her skating aside from her inconsistency.
Attempting 3 triple axels per competition is so gutsy. Midori and Tonya didnt even do this and their triple axels and jumps were far more explosive and easy than Mao's. Kim has amazing jumps that have far more height, flow, and better technique than Mao's, yet she is too scared to try triple axels and quads. That makes Mao's feat even more impressive. She isnt really the best jumper yet she is pushing herself to do harder and harder jumps more than people who should be able to do than even more easier. She could do an easier program to win like Kim does but she refuses to do that. She wants to push herself, even sacrificing her own chances for gold medals to do so. A true Champions mentality.