Yuriko Koike, centre, and Anne Hidalgo, right, said the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have helped provide hope amid the COVID-19 recovery ©Getty Images

Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, says the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics have provided "great courage and inspiration" to people in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Tokyo 2020 Games were pushed back one year after COVID-19 swept across the world in 2020. 

Most of the events were held behind closed doors, with spectators banned from any events hosted in prefecture under a state of emergency, including any event in Tokyo.

The Games were subject to mass protests as COVID-19 cases rose dramatically since their commencement on July 23. 

Japan recorded 5,529 COVID-19 cases on July 23. 

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

Nevertheless, Koike believes the Games were an inspiration to all around the world who watched.

"The sight of the athletes from various backgrounds has contributed to hope for the future and provided the world with great courage and inspiration amid the pandemic," Koike said.

"I am very pleased that we were able to bring the Games to a successful conclusion thanks to the support and corporation of the athletes and people all over the world.

"Please allow me to express my heartfelt gratitude."

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

Hidalgo praised Koike and the Japanese capital for instilling hope into people around the world after a dark 18 months caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"I would really like to thank you [Koike] and your municipal staff, the Japanese Government, IOC, IPC, the Organising Committee," said Hidalgo.

"These Games have been a moment of sharing among all the nations of the world that we so needed.

"Tokyo has rekindled hope that we will soon be out of this health crisis.

"And I have faith that these Games herald better days to come.

"Tokyo has led the way in building a more sustainable and inclusive society, where everyone has a place."

Meanwhile, Koike focused on climate change, claiming Tokyo 2020 aimed to help deliver a "sustainable recovery" from COVID-19.

"At the conference, we adopted the Tokyo declaration," Koike continued.

"The declaration states that importance of a sustainable recovery from the pandemic, which goes beyond addressing the climate crisis to include life's sustainable in all ways as well as out determination to implement initiatives in support of this goal."