For the first time in 54 years, the annual Kinneret swim marathon will be canceled due to the coronavirus. According to the Jordan Valley Regional Council, this year's swim was originally scheduled to take place in September. After the announcement that it would be delayed till October 31, it was finally cancelled on Sunday, October 18. The annual swim has a long, storied and glorious history. The first swim was in 1954. Shmaryahu Nabel, then the decade-old activities coordinator for "Hapoel" in the Jordan Valley region, merged with Yaakov Hassid to organize the first event. Anyone over the age of 16 could participate. The swimmers went out 10 at a time. The first swim had 226 participants; annually, that swelled to over 1,000 participants in 1961. In recent years, the swim has drawn over 10,000 individuals from across the country. Nabel, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 99, completed his last swim at the age of 92.