The statue of Rocky Balboa, the central character from the Rocky movie franchise, is a symbol of hard work, determination, and pursuing your dreams. Filmed in Philly, the movie has become a symbol of the city and Rocky - a fictional favorite son.
The first of the sports dramas starring Sylvester Stallone tells the story of Rocky, an Italian-American boxer living in the slums of Philadelphia. Rocky trains and competes at a local fight club, but when he gets a chance to fight for the title of world heavyweight champion against Apollo Creed, a seasoned professional, and win $150,000, he accepts the challenge. Rocky begins training to become a champion, using both traditional and non-traditional methods.
After 15 rounds of fighting against Apollo Creed, Rocky is deemed the winner, and defeats him in "the greatest exhibition of guts and stamina in the history of the ring." The film went on to be highly popular. Rocky grossed $225 million in the box office and was nominated for 10 Oscars in nine categories at the 49th Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Film Editing. Between Rocky's debut in 1976 and Creed II, there have been seven sequels starring Stallone, with possibly more to come.
Made famous from its appearance in Rocky, the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the location where Rocky ran as he trained for his first fight. Now known as the Rocky Steps, they remain an iconic location to visit in Philadelphia.
Sylvester Stallone presented the City of Philadelphia with the Rocky Statue in 1982 ahead of filming Rocky III. In the film, Rocky is shown on a run ending at the Rocky Steps. The Rocky Statue was previously located at the top of the steps of the east entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art when it was first unveiled for a scene in Rocky III. However, it has been relocated to the area next to the bottom of the museum steps in 2006 due to the high volume of visitors who come to view it every day. Visit the statue and take a picture with Rocky or run up the 72 steps and pose with your hands in the air with the two-handed salute of a champion. The statue and steps are open 24/7 to the public.
Cover image by Dan Dyer, Flickr Images.