The 2009 East Asian Games, officially known as the V East Asian Games, was an international multi-sport event that took place in Hong Kong, China, between 5 December and 13 December 2009. A total of 2,377 athletes from 9 East Asian national competed in 262 events in 22 sports.[1] It was the biggest sporting event ever held in the territory.[1]



In 2003 Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and Mongolia entered the bidding process as potential host cities for the 5th East Asian games.[2] Mongolia subsequently withdrew. On 3 November 2003 at a meeting in Macau, Hong Kong was selected as the host.[3]

June 2004 saw the formation of the Preparatory Committee for the Hong Kong East Asian Games, chaired by Timothy Fok, president of Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong.


On 13 January 2006 the Legislative Council had approved the government spending of HK$123 million for the games.[4] The total expenditure for the games is estimated to be HK$240 million. The estimated total revenue is also HK$240 million, including HK$123 million government funding, HK$43 million from ticket and merchandise sales and HK$74 million from cash sponsorhip.[5]


Fireworks emblem


During the 2005 East Asian Games in Macau, a competition was held to determine the logo for the 5th East Asian Games. On 11 July 2005 a fireworks emblem, designed by Clement Yick Tat-wa, was selected. The design makes reference to the five Olympic rings, and the sparkling fireworks symbolise the energy of athletes striving to fulfill their potential and to achieve sporting excellence.[6]


A slogan contest was held at the Asian Games in 2006 and the winning suggestion was "Be the Legend" (Chinese: 創造傳奇一刻); fitting well with the ideals of athletes reaching their potential and achieving legendary victories. This slogan was submitted by secondary school student Choi Sau-chu (蔡秀珠).[7] The event song is You are the Legend (Chinese: 衝出世界).[8]


Mascot for the games

The event has two fluffy mascots, "Dony"(Chinese: 東仔) and "Ami"(Chinese: 亞妹). Fire and lion are the creative elements for the design. Fire has many different forms and radiates light and heat, representing the flexibility of Hong Kong people. Lion is the symbol for strength and confidence. Below the Lion Rock, Hong Kong people nurtured a mutually helping and continuously striving spirit.[9]


A set of "Heartwarming Stamps" were released in March and another set was available in August while commemorative stamps were issued on the opening day of the event, 5 December.[10]


One year

The 1 year countdown to the 2009 East Asian games began with Hong Kong Chief executive Donald Tsang inaugurating a special countdown clock in Hong Kong Cultural Centre on 5 December 2008.[11] The ceremony was also attended by chairman of the East Asian Games planning committee Timothy Fok and heads of delegations of the nine countries. The countdown clock is based on the Mascot "Dony". The Cantonese version of the theme song You are the Legend was also performed for the first time by 30 Hong Kong singers including Alan Tam.[11] Representatives of the Hong Kong 18 district councils were also present.[11] For the 300-day countdown, 24 athletes were invited to sing the theme song at the Alan Tam Hacken Lee concert.[12]

200 days

A flower show was opened to the public on 13 May at Victoria Park. The show lasted 10 days featuring 60,000 pots of themed flower. Around 200 organizations from 20 countries participated in the show.[13] The new Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground was opened on 19 May to celebrate the 200 days count down. A relay race was held between the HK police, HK immigration department, Leisure and Cultural department, HK Fire service, Customs and Exercise department, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Sai Kung District sports association.[14] There was a dragon and lion dance performance and a tree-planting ceremony.[14] A cheerleading competition was also held.[15]

Torch relay

Swimmer Sherry Tsai holds the relay torch

A torch relay was held on August 29 as part of the 100-day Countdown. The relay held the theme "Light the way to the EAG".[16] The torch is a curvy cylinder with a square top and round bottom. It resembles the horn of an ox as 2009 is the year of the Ox.[17] They create the patterns of "Lucky Clouds" to put forward the concept of yin and yang. This also convey the message that Hong Kong is a place where the Chinese and Western cultures meet.[17]


In the following calendar for the 2009 East Asian Games, each blue box represents an event competition, such as a qualification round, on that day. The yellow boxes represent days during which medal-awarding finals for a sport were held.[18]

       Event competitions        Event finals
December 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Gold medals
Ceremonies    ●       ●   
Athletics 10 11 12 13 46
Badminton 1 1 5 7
Basketball 2 2
Bowling 2 2 4 2 2 12
Cue sports 3 3 2 8
Cycling 2 2 3 2 1 10
Dancesport 12 12
Diving 3 3 4 10
Football 1 1
Hockey 1 1 2
Judo 10 8 18
Rowing 6 7 13
Rugby sevens 2 2
Shooting 1 1 1 1 4
Squash 2 2 3 7
Swimming 8 8 8 8 8 40
Table-tennis 2 5 7
Taekwondo 4 6 6 16
Tennis 1 4 5
Volleyball 2 2
Weightlifting 3 3 3 3 3 15
Windsurfing 4 4
Wushu 2 6 11 19
Total 0 0 0 6 36 30 20 16 32 30 50 42 262


Sign to the 09 East Asian games

Opening ceremony

State Councilor Liu Yandong graced the official opening ceremony on December 5, which featured an extensive firework display and a large scale music and dance performance at Hong Kong Cultural Centre section of Victoria Harbour. IOC President Jacques Rogge and some IOC members also attended the ceremony. Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, in his speech said in part: "Through sport, we will celebrate the cultural diversity, friendship and indomitable spirit of our region. Hong Kong extends the hand of friendship to all our guests and visitors." Following this, the torch was brought into Victoria Harbour and the cauldron was lit, signalling the climax of the opening ceremony.


2009 East Asian Games featured 262 events in 22 sports (including 16 Olympics sports), a new record of East Asian Games history.

NB: † = Non-Olympic sports
Live performance art dancers

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony took place on 13 December at Kowloon Hong Kong Coliseum. After the country entrances, the event featured a host of performance art section on stage and the transfer of the East Asian Games flag to the host of the next host Tianjin.[19] Three sections including Color, Flower and Ocean were on display along with a host of international popstars.[20]

Medal table

A total of 262 gold medals are presented in East Asian Games. The following table shows the Final Medal Tally of regions:[21]

  Host nation

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  China (CHN) 113 73 46 232
2  Japan (JPN) 62 58 70 190
3  South Korea (KOR) 39 45 59 143
4  Hong Kong (HKG) 26 31 53 110
5  Chinese Taipei (TPE) 8 34 47 89
6  Macau (MAC) 8 9 12 29
7  North Korea (PRK) 6 8 11 25
8  Mongolia (MGL) 0 4 16 20
9  Guam (GUM) 0 0 1 1
Total 262 262 315 839


Flags of nine countries and EAG in Hong Kong Park Olympic Square

All of the 9 East Asian Games Association (EAGA) that existed as of 2009 participated in the 2009 East Asian Games. China had the largest team, with 474 athletes.

Concerns and controversies

Promotion problems

About 66% of 530 people aged 18 to 45 from the Hong Kong Youth Association was surveyed and did not know the games were held from December 5–13. Only 33% were able to identify the mascot. Less than 33% knew there was a 5th East Asian Games. 66% said there was a lack of promotion.[22]


  1. ^ a b Kuomintang official site. "KMT.org.tw Archived 2011-05-13 at the Wayback Machine.." Chinese Taipei Wins God Medal in Men’s 400-Meter Relay. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
  2. ^ People.com.cn. "People.com.cn." Hong Kong to Bid for 2009 East Asian Games. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
  3. ^ Lcsd.gov.hk. "Lcsd.gov.hk." East Asian Games 2009. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
  4. ^ Legco.gov.hk. "Legco.gov.hk." 財務委員會討論文件. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
  5. ^ The Standard HK. "The Standard.com." Olympic touches for East Asian fanfare Retrieved on 2010-01-25.
  6. ^ East asian games.hk. East asian games.hk Design concept. Retrieved on 2010-01-25.
  7. ^ HKsportsworld.com. "HKsportsworld.com." 創造傳奇一刻 - 體現香港大都會魅力. Retrieved on 2010-05-31.
  8. ^ Hong Kong 2009 Hong Kong gears up for 2009 East Asian Games - official press release. Accessed 2009-06-25. Archived 2009-07-25.
  9. ^ http://www.2009eastasiangames.hk/mascot/en/character.html EAG Mascot
  10. ^ Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games: 200 days to go! - official press release
  11. ^ a b c East asian games.hk. "East asian games.hk." The Community Celebrates the Start of the One-year Countdown to the Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
  12. ^ East asian games.hk. "East asian games.hk." The 300-day countdown to the Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
  13. ^ Info.gov.hk. "Info.gov.hk." Hong Kong Flower Show opens today. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
  14. ^ a b East asian games.hk. "East asian games.hk." Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground opens to celebrate EAG 200-day countdown. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
  15. ^ East asian games.hk. "East asian games.hk." 香港2009東亞運動會校際啦啦隊比賽決賽. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
  16. ^ Lcsd.gov.hk. "Lcsd.gov.hk." The Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games 100-day Countdown cum Torch Relay. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
  17. ^ a b Lcsd.gov.hk. "Lcsd.gov.hk." Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China – The Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games 100-day Countdown cum Torch Relay. Retrieved on 2010-01-25.
  18. ^ Hong Kong 2009 (27 November 2009). "Schedule". 
  19. ^ Sports.163.com. "Sports.163.com." 第五屆東亞運動會圓滿落幕 2013相約天津續傳奇. Retrieved on 2010-05-31.
  20. ^ Lcsd.gov.hk. "Lcsd.gov.hk." Feast of pop star talent for EAG closing ceremony. Retrieved on 2010-05-31.
  21. ^ Info system Archived 2009-12-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ The Standard HK. "The Standard.com." Most clueless about East Asian Games. Retrieved on 2010-01-24.

External links