1. Bringing a new country to the forefront. I think that alone is something that "changes the course of figure skating." Especially when you pair it with the rise of Asia as a money-pot (for lack of a better word). Compare it to the first group of African men who started succeeding in long distance running at the Olympics. Of course, this is simply theoretical. There's no way of knowing if it's a Lu Chen (relative blip despite China's success in pairs) or something deeper.
2. Being THE model for COP singles skating. There are several singles skaters who seem to work COP extremely well: Chan, Buttle, Lysacek, Rochette (to a lesser extent, Takahashi, Flatt...), but Kim will be the standard. People quibble about the scores, but not the results (compare that to Lysacek vs Plushenko at the Olympics). In fact, it's noteworthy to consider that her success (Kim's) isn't much more considerable than Lysacek's (one silver medal at worlds difference), but the totality of her victories makes her the COP icon. Kim is who future skaters will follow. Her programs (thank you Brian Orser and David Wilson) are gonna be the ones studied by future generations to see how to earn the points to win competitions. Who else is there?