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Balboa Park's Name Not Tied to 'Rocky'


A Wikipedia entry incorrectly connecting the naming of Balboa Park in San Diego to the famous movie character was flagged Thursday by a reporter for the Voice of San Diego.

According to a social media post, the entry on Wikipedia stated, “Named for the famous Italian American prize fighter, Rocky Balboa, the park hosted the 1915016 Panama-California Exposition….”

The fighter is, of course, fictional and the brainchild of producer and actor Sylvester Stallone who starred in seven movies centered around the so-called “Italian Stallion.”

In the first film, Balboa prepares for a fight using the 72 stone steps near the Philadelphia Museum of Art as his training ground. The area and the dramatic score that accompanies the moment in the film have become synonymous with the determination of an underdog preparing for the fight of his life.

As a result, the steps and the statue have become two of the most popular attractions in the City of Brotherly Love, according to tourism sites.

So what is the origin of the name given to the largest park in San Diego?

According to the House of Pacific Relations, there was a contest in 1910 to find a name and Balboa Park won. The name was intended to honor Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the first European explorer to see the Pacific Ocean.

The Wikipedia entry has since been corrected.

Photo Credit: Todd Strain/NBC 7 San Diego
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Source: NBC San Diego

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