The image, regardless of political preference, of the first black man to take the oath for the nation's highest office struck those with local sports ties as Tuesday's enduring image.
Those observers shared their feelings of watching Barack Obama become the 44th president.
STUDENTS SHED 'TEARS OF JOY'
At Rancho High School, students watched a live broadcast of the inauguration on a big-screen television in the campus gymnasium.
"You could just feel in the air that it was special," boys basketball coach Melvin Shivers said. "The kids were overwhelmed. They were very, very quiet, and they knew this was a part of history."
Shivers scheduled a game against nearby Agassi Prep on Monday night so his players could play on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
"It was a tremendous day, and (Tuesday) put the icing on the cake," he said.
At Agassi Prep, which athletic director Carl Britt said has a "probably 99 percent" black student body, students watched the inauguration on TVs in every classroom.
"There were tears of joy," Britt said of the students. "It was a beautiful thing."
The moment has symbolism at Agassi Prep because the school's seniors will be its first graduating class.
"We talked about that, how ironic," Britt said. "That's something these students will remember forever, that they graduated the same year Obama was brought into the White House."
-- Tristan Aird
HOPKINS: 'AMERICA HAS SPOKEN'
While he watched Obama being sworn in, Bernard Hopkins said life in America will never be the same.
"White America has to look at black people differently from now on," said the former world champion boxer who has had many big fights in Las Vegas. "A black man is running this country. We're showing the world we've grown up."
Hopkins said when he was a kid in Philadelphia in the early 1970s, his teacher encouraged him to seek greatness.
"Who would have ever thought my third-grade teacher told us we could be whatever we wanted, including president of the United States?" the 44-year-old Hopkins said. "We thought she was a fool.
"But my 9-year-old daughter saw an image that she had never seen before. My grandmother, who is 95, saw something she never thought she'd see.
"Here's the thing. America, black and white, has spoken. Our time has come. We're saying we can change the status quo. That ignorance that has been such a big part of our history for so long has to die. And it will."
Boxing promoter Bob Arum is 78, but believed he would live long enough to see a black person sworn in as president.
And as the Top Rank Inc. chairman watched Obama take the oath, Arum wasn't marveling at the history occurring. He was hoping Obama can do the job.
"I had great faith in the country that the American people wouldn't judge someone on their race or faith," said Arum, a lifelong Democrat. "What was going through my mind was whether he can lead the country through the worst economic crisis we've seen in decades. I'm praying he can turn the country around. There's so much on his plate, so much to turn around."
"At the end of the day, are you satisfied with just having gotten there? Or are you going to be satisfied with your deeds and results?" he said. "That's the pressure Obama will have to deal with."
Hopkins said having Obama in office is a great accomplishment, but couldn't help wondering if the indignities blacks suffered for centuries have been lost in the shuffle because of the difficult issues facing Obama on his first day in office.
"How ironic is it that a black man got the worst job in America?" Hopkins said.
-- Steve Carp
BLUE: 'THE SKY'S THE LIMIT'
Not only Tuesday, but the entire election season was special to UNLV's football team.
"It's probably the most interest and excitement about an election I've ever seen in my coaching career, which is a great thing," coach Mike Sanford said. "It wasn't only African-American players, but there was a lot more interest from a lot of players than ever before."
It was a historical day for the nation, too, Sanford said.
"I think it's significant," he said. "It's a great day for America."
Sabrina Hunter, the mother of UNLV assistant women's basketball coach Nikki Blue, was visiting from Bakersfield, Calif., and teared up while watching Obama's speech.
Blue, who also plays for the WNBA's Washington Mystics near Obama's new home at the White House, said as much as this moment meant to her mother, it was even more special to her 85-year-old grandfather, Carl Toney.
He lived in Texarkana, Texas, during the days when he couldn't use the same drinking fountain as whites.
"My grandpa told me on election day he's seen a bunch of things he never thought he'd have a chance to see," Blue said. "It's a very special time."
It's also that kind of time for Blue, who is black.
"As a child, people tell you that you can be anything you want to be," she said. "Sometimes parents tell you that and don't believe it. They want you to hope. Now it's true. The sky's the limit. You can be anything."
-- Mark Anderson
WILLIAMS: YOUTH MADE CHANGE
Seat Williams, co-host of "Afternoon Gridlock" on ESPN Radio 1100 (KWWN-AM), normally discusses issues far less important than politics on the air.
The importance of Tuesday's events, however, were not lost on him.
"For me, it was something I never dreamed would be possible," said Williams, who is black. "But I'm glad to see it come true."
He said that Obama's election was made possible by the changing attitudes of America's youth.
"A lot of it has to do with the younger generation. They want change, and that's why they voted for Barack Obama," he said. "The fact that it happened, it gives hope to all generations of all races, in particular the young."
-- Adam Hill
LOGAN: U.S. PROGRESS EVIDENT
Speaking from Mexico, where he guided Mazatlan to this year's Mexican League finals, former Las Vegas 51s manager Lorenzo Bundy said he was thrilled to see a fellow black man become president.
"Obviously, being a man of color, I am really excited. It's been a long time coming," said Bundy, who managed the 51s the last two seasons and will be first-base coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks next season.
The positive, upbeat Bundy said he was confident the United States eventually would elect a black president.
"It would just be a matter of time," he said. "You've just got to be patient and now we have our first African-American (president). I think it gives a great feeling of hope and opportunity.
"I think the sky's the limit, with Obama being named president. It's another of those steppingstones we're making as a human race -- accepting that people of all colors and all creeds are capable of doing these jobs. They just need an opportunity."
51s president Don Logan said the election shows how much "we have progressed as a country and as a society."
"Everybody talks about how screwed up things are and how we've lost our moral compass," he said. "But I think Barack Obama getting elected president proves we have progressed and are headed in a positive direction. This is a good, positive testament to our society in the United States."
Mark Brandon, a local insurance agent and the first black person elected chairman of the board of governors at Canyon Gate Country Club, said it was "a great day to be an American."
"It's an exciting time for us," said Brandon, a former college football star at Toledo. "It gives us, as a country, hope and promise for the future. I know that, as a people, we've come a long way.
"(Obama) brings a lot of promise and inspiration to our young people that anything is possible."
Wranglers center Tyler Mosienko, a resident of Canada, said the U.S. election shows "this country has come a long way."
"I think it's awesome," he said. "It's good to see and hopefully (the U.S.) will continue to go in the right direction."
-- Todd Dewey
GAUGHAN: 'I'M VERY OPTIMISTIC'
Brendan Gaughan, a 1993 graduate of Bishop Gorman High School, watched parts of the inauguration on TV and the Internet from the Rusty Wallace Racing shop near Charlotte, N.C., where he was preparing to drive for a new team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
"This is a proud day to be an American," Gaughan said. "It's exciting, to say the least, the first African-American president. I'm very optimistic."
Gaughan says he's a centrist and wouldn't disclose who he voted for.
"I might not have liked all the platforms he stood for during the campaign, but I didn't like everything (Sen. John) McCain stood for.
"I always root for the president. If he's our president, you have to root for him."
-- Jeff Wolf
ROUGEAU: BRING TROOPS HOME
Before heading to class, UNLV senior Rene Rougeau watched Obama's inauguration from the basketball team's locker room.
"It was definitely a good moment in history for us to view," said Rougeau, who hopes Obama can help fix the economy and end the war in Iraq.
"Hopefully, he will bring the troops home soon. More than anything else, that's probably the biggest thing I'm looking forward to seeing."
Rougeau and senior Wink Adams each said they voted for Obama, though Adams leaned toward another Democratic candidate.
"It was either him or Hillary Clinton. I was going for Hillary Clinton for some reason," Adams said, laughing. "I kind of like her for some reason, and I don't know why."
Adams said he was receiving calls from his family in Houston, including his mom, Reandre.
"I never watched the inauguration of a president before, so it's pretty amazing how many people came out to see that," Adams said. "My family was watching it and calling me. My mother, she's sensitive and crying. I couldn't even talk to her because she's always crying.
"It's kind of amazing to be around to see the first African-American president. I never thought this would have happened a couple years ago."
-- Matt Youmans