Sylvester Stallone returns to Philadelphia to commemorate inaugural Rocky Day: 'Keep punching'

The actor gave a speech at the art museum steps he made famous in 1976's "Rocky."

The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows, but it certainly felt like it over the weekend when Sylvester Stallone returned to Philadelphia to celebrate the city's inaugural Rocky Day.

Nearly 50 years after Rocky Balboa sprinted up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1976's Rocky, Stallone, 77, gathered at the same location on Sunday to commemorate the film's impact. The actor called the residents of Philadelphia the true heroes in a speech delivered from the famed steps.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart — and Rocky’s, too, because we’re very close — to all of you, who believe it or not are the real-life Rockys, because you live your life on your own terms, you try to do the best you can, and you keep punching," he said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

<p>Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images</p> Sylvester Stallone returns to Philadelphia for inaugural Rocky Day on Sunday, Dec. 3

Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Sylvester Stallone returns to Philadelphia for inaugural Rocky Day on Sunday, Dec. 3

Stallone, who not only starred in the film but wrote the screenplay, said the story of the small-town boxer was intrinsically tied to the fabric of the city. “I was very ambitious because there was no plan B," he said of his time as a struggling actor and writer. "At the time, all I had to fall back on was my butt. Rocky was just a perfect storm."

"It came along at a time when politics were changing and people were looking for more positivity, and I just happened to fall into it," Stallone added.

Of his climb to the top of the steps in the film, he said, "To me, when you get up there, you feel like you can be the champion of your dreams. But the real victory is never giving up and going the distance for yourself and your loved ones. Standing at the top, you are reminded that all things are possible. Keep punching!"

The sports drama won three Academy Awards at the 1977 ceremony, including Best Picture.

<p>Everett Collection</p> Sylvester Stallone in 'Rocky'

Everett Collection

Sylvester Stallone in 'Rocky'

An interaction between Stallone and a pint-size fan has also gone viral. A young boy gave Rocky's famous speech, which he delivered to his on-screen son, about believing in and fighting for one's self — to the actor.

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