Rocky statue Arch of Triumph North Korea

From the Smithsonian: Traveling with the Rocky statue in North Korea

by Michael

As we traveled around the world with our statue of Rocky Balboa, there were only two groups of people who didn’t recognize him: North Koreans and the San people of the Kalahari in Namibia. Everywhere else he was quite the celebrity and a real icebreaker who helped us meet new people. From Tiananmen Square in Beijing to the Arab souk in Jerusalem to a remote pub on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, locals were thrilled to pose with the Rocky statue. It surprised us that they all knew his story and were big fans of the films. Some people even gave us a hearty “Yo” in the best South Philly style. And yes, even a few asked, “Where’s Adrian?”

Rocky statue San People Namibia

The San people of the Kalahari were featured in the film, The Gods Must Be Crazy.

We’re excited that Smithsonian Magazine was also intrigued by our journey with Little Rocky.  They just published a story that focuses on our time in North Korea with the Rocky statue. You can read it here: A Frightening and Fascinating Journey through North Korea.

Note: The picture at the top of this post may look familiar. However, it’s not the Arc de Triomphe in Paris but the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, which our tour guide proudly proclaimed is six inches taller than the French one. Yes, really.

Charlie December 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Congrats for making it into the Smithsonian!

Kim December 31, 2012 at 10:50 am

North Korea and Rocky, never thought I’d see those two together.

Steve January 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Would you go back to North Korea?

Larissa January 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Yes, we’d go back. We found the people to be wonderful, friendly and genuinely curious about the outside world.

It’s unlikely we’ll be able to return, however. Now that we’ve gone
public with our experiences, we probably wouldn’t be able to get visa approval again.

But we’d definitely encourage others to visit–it’s truly a one of a kind place.

Michael January 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Thanks Charlie.

Michael January 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm

There is a rumor that Kim Jong Un likes the Rocky movies so perhaps it was inevitable.

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