Sylvester Stallone surprises fans with visit to "Rocky" statue

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Sylvester Stallone surprises fans with visit to "Rocky" statue. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on April 6, 2018. (WPVI)

Sylvester Stallone shocked fans during a brief visit to the Rocky Statue outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art Friday morning. The actor just wrapped up the first week of filming for "Creed II".

The surprise appearance lasted less than 10 minutes. Tourists who came from out of town looking to simply take a picture with the sculpture said they were stunned to see Rocky himself.

"We are here running the steps and Rocky Balboa shows up!" Said Lisa Klemeyer of Sarasota, Florida. "Oh my gosh! It's crazy!"

A crowd of star-struck fans gathered as the 71-year-old arrived. The actor/writer/director took his time posing for pictures and signing autographs. Stallone eventually made his way to the foot of the iconic Rocky Statue. Mayor Jim Kenney said the reason for the last minute visit was for Stallone to see a plaque that had been lost by the city for many years. It was recently found and mounted at the base of the sculpture.

"It's always fantastic," said Stallone. "It's like I never left before. I am Philly. Philly is me. My life began here."

Off-camera, the city gifted Stallone a personalized Eagles Jersey.

"Not many people have steps at an art museum named after them," said Kenney. "So they're forever Rocky steps and it's just an iconic piece of movie history and it's fun."

On the newly mounted plaque is a quote from the actor, it reads, "It's not how hard you hit, it's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done,"

Those words hit home for a Florida-based volleyball team in town with the hopes of qualifying for the Junior Olympics at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The team simply visited the Rocky Statue to draw some inspiration and encouragement. They ended up getting more than they could've imagined.

"I was in awe. It was phenomenal," said Alexis McMullen from Sarasota, Florida. "As a team, we are the underdogs and really the movie taught us that we have to fight and we have to win. So I'm hoping we qualify."

"Creed II" is a sequel to "Creed" and stars Stallone as Rocky Balboa. It is set to be released sometime in November.
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