Saint Joseph University athletes help tourist with paralysis up Rocky steps

A different twist on the infamous “Rocky Run” was caught on camera and it was a fabulous twist. One man’s dreams came true thanks to some local athletes.

Running the Philadelphia Art Museum steps is a workout for some and a bucket list for many.  No matter your age, size or speed – reaching the top and posing like Rocky is a must-do.

Three Saint Joseph’s University rugby players have been training on the steps for the last three years. Last Friday, they had the opportunity to make someone’s “Rocky Run” dreams come true.

“We were in the right place at the right time to put a smile on a man’s face and give him a good memory for the rest of his life,” said Matt Riotto. 

The man was a tourist from Poland visiting with his family. He had always wished to go up the Rocky steps.

“It’s always been a dream of his to go up the Rocky steps,” explained Matt. 

The act of kindness by the rugby players was caught on camera.

Along with his teammates Andrew Sullivan and Jonathan Ahern, the trio made that wish come true.

“He saw us in our Hawks rugby gear and he said these guys look like they can give us a hand,” Matt said.  “He was paralyzed unfortunately so we gave him a hand carrying him up the steps. As soon as we put him down on that top step just smiles all over the place amazing to see.”

These guys, proudly channeled their “Magis” and university motto of “live greater,” were also feeling inspired by their late teammate.

Mark Dombroski, a Delaware county native, was known for his kind and generous heart. He died tragically during a Saint Joseph University rugby trip to Bermuda last year.

 “Ever since that tragedy they’re always trying to do better in life and it was one of those moments where you felt Mark here with us,” explained rugby coach, Dan Yarusso.