“If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!”

DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images Zitiste may be a long way from South Philly, but this beleaguered Serbian village is hoping for a morale boost from the Italian Stallion himself. City officials unveiled a three-meter bronze statue of Rocky Balboa by sculptor Bojan Marceta over the weekend in the town square. Thirty-five miles north of Belgrade, Zitiste ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
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DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images

Zitiste may be a long way from South Philly, but this beleaguered Serbian village is hoping for a morale boost from the Italian Stallion himself. City officials unveiled a three-meter bronze statue of Rocky Balboa by sculptor Bojan Marceta over the weekend in the town square. Thirty-five miles north of Belgrade, Zitiste has fallen victim to flooding and landslides in recent years, gaining a reputation for misfortune and catastrophe. Officials hope that Rocky's underdog story will help the town's image:

For years, only negative reports on farm disease, monstrous murders, floods and landslides have been coming from our village," said Mayor Zoran Babic.

DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images

Zitiste may be a long way from South Philly, but this beleaguered Serbian village is hoping for a morale boost from the Italian Stallion himself. City officials unveiled a three-meter bronze statue of Rocky Balboa by sculptor Bojan Marceta over the weekend in the town square. Thirty-five miles north of Belgrade, Zitiste has fallen victim to flooding and landslides in recent years, gaining a reputation for misfortune and catastrophe. Officials hope that Rocky’s underdog story will help the town’s image:

For years, only negative reports on farm disease, monstrous murders, floods and landslides have been coming from our village,” said Mayor Zoran Babic.

“This is the chance to give a better, more positive image to Zitiste.”

No word yet on whether Vladimir Putin’s government—always a factor in Serbian politics—will insist on equal representation for Ivan Drago.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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