Sylvester Stallone joined in on the festivities in Philadelphia as they marked its first-ever Rocky Day, a recent annual city holiday to commemorate the release of the film Rocky.
It’s been over five decades since the 1976 Oscar-winning sports film Rocky introduced the audience to small-time boxer Rocky Balboa, played by Stallone.
Recently, the actor made a comeback to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Balboa had trained for his ‘big’ fight.
“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart — and Rocky’s too because we’re very close — and to all of you who, believe it or not, are Real Life Rockys,” Stallone addressed the crowd, who had gathered to celebrate the Rocky Day in the rain.
“Because you live your life on your own terms. You try to do the best you can, and you keep punching. I appreciate that, Dec. 3 ... Rocky Day. Remarkable,” he continued.
“Who would have believed that? Certainly none of the 13 schools I went to woulda,” he jokingly asked.
“Remarkable, you know, whoever would have thought that a 12-year-old loner that used to go up and down these steps would come back to see this day and be lucky enough, alive, to have seen it.”
Stallone also shared his travel experience. He recalled visiting amazing sights like the pyramids, and a Colosseum.
He said, ”those 72 steps” inspired him deeply and no matter where he goes, this is the only sight that ”excites” him.
The 77-year-old actor continued: “It’s like you get to the top, you feel inspired, you feel special, hopeful, happy and most of all proud of yourself. ...
”You look out and you go, ‘I did it. I feel good at this moment,” he added.
The ‘sturdy young actor,’ and a “lumbering nice-guy loner who lives in a really crummy apartment with a goldfish, a pair of turtles named Cuff and Link and a poster of Marciano,” as identified by The Times’ original 1976 review, further expressed: “You feel like you can be perhaps the champion of your dreams.”
”It’s a possibility. It’s a sliver of hope,” he said.
On Sunday, Stallone said: “To me, life is a fight. It’s a tough fight, and get ready, you’re going to win some and you’re going to lose a lot. But the real victory is in never giving up.”
”And going the distance for yourself. Standing at the top of these steps, you’re reminded that all things are possible.”
The actor concluded his speech with a ‘dramatic’ expression in a nod to his film, “Keep punching!”
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