Hong Kong, one of the most visible non-sovereign entities on the international stage, has a distinctive profile as a previous British colony and current Special Administration Region (SAR) of China with the retention of an independent sporting status. However, research on elite sport development in this region remains relatively uncharted territory. This study provides a panoramic view of Hong Kong’s elite sport development since 1842, specific to four phases identified, namely the infancy of sport (1842-1950), the inception but slow development of elite sport (1950-1973), the rapid growth of elite sport (1973- 1997), and further expansion of elite sport development (1997-2019). The discussion of each of these periods will follow the same structure: political context, government sports structure, financial support and high-performance achievements (i.e. at the Olympic Games and other major competitions). This paper is expected to provide a unique and in-depth context for further studies concerning policy analysis and governance study particularly for non-major Olympic participants with a relatively distinctive political and sporting status.