The Legacy of “1000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story”
By Jack Herr, Sports Editor
Showcasing one of the more inspiring stories to come out of Gettysburg outside of the Civil War battle itself, “1000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story” represents Gettysburg athletics at its best. As Cory Weissman ’12 put it, the film’s timeless message of “overcoming adversity, never giving up, and keeping a positive attitude” is one that has resonated with audiences across the country.
It all started on March 26, 2009, when an arteriovenous malformation in Weissman’s brain erupted, causing a stroke that sent him to the hospital for 11 days. As depicted in the film, Weissman was in the Jaeger Center lifting weights with teammates when the left side of his body suddenly went paralyzed. Weissman credited the athletic training staff, who were the first responders, for “potentially saving [his] life.”
“We went to the athletic training room, and because of their quick actions of assessing how it was and what was going on with my health, they realized that it was an absolute emergency and crucial to getting into the hospital,” explained Weissman. Since graduating as a health sciences major, he himself worked in athletic training before switching over to medical device sales.
The rehabilitation process was a long road, and those same athletic trainers were there every step of the way for Weissman. “These are people who really were helping me with my exercises but also asking me how I felt and how I was emotionally,” he said. While he regretted not being able to spotlight them more in the film, he applauded the producers for their accurate portrayal of how timely the training staff responded to his emergency.
After years of rehab, Weissman had a chance to once again play the game he loves. On Feb. 11, 2012, in a conference game vs. Washington College, Weissman subbed in with under a minute left and was fouled. At the free throw line, he sunk his second of two, prompting a blissful roar from the crowd. While the 1000 points he scored in high school were special, this one point will always mean the most to Weissman.
The story immediately attracted local and national attention from the likes of ESPN, Yahoo Sports, NPR, and Hollywood. The College and Weissman received multiple offers from producers, but they went with Bruce Gordon and Bob Burris’s vision. Actor David Henrie was to play Weissman himself.
Before filming, Weissman actually flew out to California to meet with Henrie, who wanted to get to know the man he was playing and do a “character study.” By the time production started on campus, the two were close and “texting each other back and forth.”
Weissman relished being a part of the filmmaking process. “It felt like a family,” he said. “So I›m trying to graduate. I had three classes that I was trying to complete. And they’re filming a movie about my life and reenacting scenes from my life. So it was an interesting experience. But it was awesome.” Most scenes were filmed on location, creating an exciting “buzz” around the small campus.
Weissman was careful to spoil anything about the movie, but he encouraged today’s students to watch the film (which is free on YouTube) and keep his inspiring story “relevant.” Not only did the filmmaking process bring the whole Gettysburg community together, but the film emphasizes the intimacy of the Gettysburg College experience.
“Everyone was there for me just to kind of pull me along, pick me up and help me out. And again, whether it was the staff, whether it was my professors, my coaches, teammates, whoever it was, everyone was there. Everyone was there to help me and I think the movie does a good job portraying that.”
This article originally appeared on page 22 of the April 2023 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.