Everyone needs inspiration. No matter who you are or how successful you’ve become there will always be someone you look up to. 

Dwayne Johnson is no exception, he may be many people’s inspiration but there is one guy who has been his inspiration since he was a kid—Milton McBride Rosen, who is “the Rock’s rock”.

Credit: YouTube/ The Rock

“There’s one person who is my hero. One person from the time I was six-years-old, when we first met we hugged and we became like brothers.

“And he has not only inspired me but inspired so many people. So, I guess in a phrase, he’s the Rock’s rock,” Dwayne Johnson said at the beginning of his  tear-jerking short film by ESPN dedicated to his “hero”, Milton.

Meet Milton McBride Rosen

Milton is a Special Olympian with down syndrome. He was a foster child before he was adopted by Bruce Rosen, the co-owner of the Boddy Shoppe Gym, in Florida.

“I believe he was in the foster care system for maybe six or seven years before I came along,” said Bruce.

Bruce had an instant connection with Milton when he met him when he was 15.

Credit: YouTube/ The Rock

“He was 15-years-old, very very skinny, almost looked malnourished. He weighed 60 pounds at 15-years-old.

“Milton was so innocent and so long, for a minute I met him I knew there was a connection.”

When Dwayne Johnson met Milton.

Dwayne met Milton in 1977 when was six-years-old, and they instantly became best buddies.

Credit: YouTube/ The Rock

Milton was even one of the first people who showed Dwayne how to work out!

Credit: YouTube/ The Rock

Their relationship grew even closer when they became roomies, Dwayne said in the touching clip.

“We wound up moving in with the Rosens, then I shared a bedroom with Milton and that started to solidify our friendship and our brotherhood. We got extremely close.”

The Special Olympia

Milton first joined various Special Olympics sports, including track and field, where he ran the 50-yard dash, and soft ball throw. But one sport made him stand out in particular—weightlifting.

Milton won the state championship that was held at University of Tampa, in Florida. 

Credit: YouTube/ The Rock

His uncle, Al Rosen who is also the other co-owner of the Boddy Shoppe Gym, witnessed Milton’s momentous win during the state championship held at University of Tampa, Florida. 

Astonisingly, Milton bench-pressed 270 pounds, which was double of his weight!

“When Milton got down with 270 pounds on the bench, people  started looking, could he actually do that. He got down, slowly brought it down to his chest, pause and exploded,” said Al.

“Milton always came through under pressure, he always did his personal best,” Bruce added.

Milton convinces Rocky Johnson to quit drinking

Dwayne Johnson’s dad, Rocky Johnson, a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, developed a drinking habit at the end of his career.

According to Dwayne, Milton was his dad’s “saving grace”.

Credit: YouTube/ The Rock

Milton did what any loved one would do—he threw Rocky’s bottle out. “He knew it was no good and he knew it was hurting me and he didn’t want to see me hurt,” Rocky recalled.

Rocky was extremely touched by Milton’s love and care.

“He had tears coming down his eyes, that touched my heart and would make me cry,” he said.

Because of this, Milton successfully convinced Rocky to stop drinking and since that day he hasn’t picked up a bottle.


One thing in the short film that particularly touched our hearts was what Rocky said to Milton: “Championships are won and lost, legends are forever, and you’re a legend.”

He is right. Milton, you’re a legend.

Credit: YouTube/ The Rock

You’ve not only impacted the Rock’s life, you have certainly inspired all of us. You’re truly an inspiration.

Check out the touching video below, which was created in celebration of the special Olympics.

Credit: MensHealth


  1. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. The Rock definitely has a “rock” in his corner.

    My brother adopted three brothers, two have delayed cognitive growth due to fetal alcohol trauma. Amazingly, the oldest brother recently qualified for the Boston Marathon

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