Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto is "proud" to have hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

Seiko Hashimoto, President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, spoke about her pride in hosting the Olympics and Paralympics despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.

As the Paralympics reached its finale yesterday, Hashimoto discussed the feat of staging the world's largest sporting event after a one-year postponement without major problems.

"I am proud of (Japan) having hosted the Olympics and Paralympics, the first global events in the world since the pandemic, and pass the baton to Paris," Hashimoto said, per Kyodo News.

"As we were not able to host the Tokyo Games in a complete form, I cannot say that they were a 100 per cent success.

"I think history will determine whether they were a success or not."

The Olympics and Paralympics featured a total of about 15,000 athletes from around the world but were staged under extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Spectators were not in attendance for almost every event, with all fans banned in any prefecture in a state of emergency.

The Paralympics Closing Ceremony marked the end of Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
The Paralympics Closing Ceremony marked the end of Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Since the Olympics began on July 23, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo and other parts of Japan hit record highs multiple times, sparking concerns that the Games may have underestimated the severity of infections.

There were widespread protests against the Games going ahead, with large swathes of the Japanese public nervous about their impact.

On July 23. the day of the Olympics Opening Ceremony, Japan recorded 5,529 COVID-19 cases. 

New daily cases peaked at over 26,000, while Japan never had more than 8,000 new daily cases prior to the Olympics.

Hashimoto took over from Yoshirō Mori as President of the Organising Committee after he resigned for making sexist comments.

As the Paralympic Flame was extinguished, Hashimoto signalled her desire to see Japan host the 2030 Winter Olympics, pledging her support for a potential Sapporo bid.

"In 2030 with Sapporo we have definitely got the candidate for the Winter Games," said Hashimoto.

"I would hope this would become a reality.

"If possible in the very near future we would hope that Japan could host the Summer Games as well."

Sapporo staged the Winter Olympics in 1972 while Nagano staged Japan's second edition of the event in 1998.