In December 2009, Hong Kong hosted its largest ever multi-sport event, the East Asian Games (EAG). Overshadowed initially by the excitement of the 2008 Beijing Olympics-and Hong Kong's part in hosting the equestrian events-the Hong Kong public was slow to appreciate the significance of the EAG. This essay examines the history of sports development in Hong Kong and the relatively underdeveloped sporting culture, the expectations of the Hong Kong government and sporting community, and the impact and legacies of the EAG in terms of social change, economic costs and benefits, national prestige and pride, and education and culture. It argues that, for all the collective euphoria over Hong Kong winning the football gold medal, the EAG brought only limited-and short-term-economic benefits and attitudinal changes regarding sport. However, it did demonstrate that Hong Kong could, albeit with some assistance from China, host a multi-sport event and it did encourage some within and without government to seriously consider bidding for the much larger Asian Games.