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Michael Vitez
Tom Gralish
129 Pages
Publisher: Paul Dry Books (2006)
ISBN: 978-1-58988-029-0
Price: S$45.95 (Available in Borders)




There's an old Chinese saying that loosely translates to "If you have never step onto the Great Wall of China, you are never consider a real man".

But alternatively as this book shows, there is another option you might wish to consider: The Rocky Steps. Make famous by Rocky Balboa in the original 1976 movie "Rocky", the steps in front of the Philadelphia art museum attracts numerous people around the globe to run in "Rocky" style up the steps annually.

Author Michael Vitez and his photographer Tom Gralish spent a year through winter, spring, summer and fall capturing the various accounts of people who ascend the Rocky Steps. As amazing as it sounds, these are indeed true accounts. There's the staff sergeant from Texas who proposed to his girlfriend on Valentine's eve; a 18 year old college freshmen who had a heart transplant operation; Sarah the breast cancer survivor; the Japanese family; Rev Nellie and many more.

Not to sound mushy but some of the individual's accounts can shed tears in your eyes. Inspiring, loving, motivating...whatever you call it, the "Rocky Steps" are not merely steps, as Sylvester Stallone says in his foreword, Rocky represented something that when you train for Rocky, you basically train for yourself. A story of an underdog make good. A story which many of us shared deep in our heart.


“Most of the people who run the Rocky Steps understand that the movie, in its own kitschy, corny, classic way represents what is great about America. An Everyman can make his dream come true; an underdog can triumph through hard work; and few things are possible or worthwhile in life without love or friendship. People want to believe the American Dream is still true, still possible, for themselves and for everyone. Actually, this desire transcends nationality. It is not just an American dream but a universal one."


With beautiful photographs contributed by Tom Gralish and absorbing accounts of those "Rocky runners" written by Michael Vitez, "Rocky Stories" is a great companion book to the "Rocky" movie series. It tells you straight in the eye that there's more inspiring real-life tales beyond the film reels. Rocky Balboa's tale is indeed timeless.

Review by Linus Tee


. Rocky Balboa: The Movie Review

. Rocky Balboa: The Soundtrack Review



This book review is made possible with the kind sponsor of BORDERS


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