By (Molly Catherine Walsh)

The University of Alabama swimmer Caroline Korst gave her mother the notion she was not going to be a dancer when Korst fell during her first recital and ran off the stage in tears.

During the summertime, it became clear that Korst’s path was a more aquatic one. At the pool in the heat of the Texas summer, Korst would jump into the deep end below the lifeguard’s chair in hopes that she wouldn’t catch the guard’s attention. Korst was not a particularly good swimmer yet, which meant that her friend’s father had to jump into the pool in a full business suit to save her 
several times.

Something about various sopping wet coats and ties told Korst’s mother that she couldn’t keep her daughter away from the water for long.

Korst, a marketing major, has been on the swim team since her freshman year. Now a senior, she can proudly say that she has set the school record in the 200 medley relay with a 1:37.02 and that she has also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for four years.

“I love manual labor. I love taking a hammer to a nail,” Korst said. “Doing it as a team is great because you get to see everyone working together to unite and help this person build a home. Someone is going to be living in the house you’re building, which is really gratifying.”

The first time Korst ever felt the satisfaction of helping another was in high school, when she worked on her first-ever project through her church, Christ United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas. The goal was to build a deck with a roof and a wheel chair ramp for a disabled man’s house. Due to her efforts, a man could now feel a sense of mobility again. To him, that meant freedom.

During her freshman year, a fellow Alabama swimmer, John Servati, was killed in a tornado that swept through the state. Servati lost his life while saving his girlfriend’s. Korst recalled that her favorite project with Habitat for Humanity was building a home in Servati’s honor. Korst knew Servati as a man full of selfless love who did everything in the name of his favorite Bible verse, John 15:13, which reads, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

It meant the world to Korst to be able to remember such an honorable person by giving back to the community. The Tuscaloosa community has been the ultimate support system throughout her time at Alabama.

As a swimmer, she felt constantly encouraged by the town because everything she did was in the name of the Crimson Tide, and she knows that even if nobody knows you are an athlete, you can still get a “roll tide.”

Alabama athletes not only share with the Tuscaloosa community, but they also play within the SEC. Although swimming can be seen as a primarily individual sport, Korst makes sure to remind her teammates that they have to come together and give it their all for the Crimson Tide. In or out of the pool, Korst is always thinking about the bigger picture.

“I try to keep a mindset of doing things for the greater good,” Korst said. “There are so many other people in the world. It’s not just about me, it’s about making the whole world better.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports