|Teams participating||10 (men)|
|Athletes participating||58 (men)|
|Opening ceremony||1 October 1966|
|Closing ceremony||2 October 1966|
The 1st World Orienteering Championships were held in the village of Fiskars, Finland, 1–2 October 1966.
Participants from eleven nations competed in the championships: Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, Finland, Great Britain, Hungary, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. The medals were distributed between Sweden (3 gold, 1 bronze), Finland (3 silver, 1 bronze), Norway (1 gold, 2 bronze) and Switzerland (1 silver medal).
The men's individual course had 11 controls over 14.1 kilometres, while the women's individual course had 10 controls over 8.1 kilometres.
The first individual world champions in orienteering came from Norway and Sweden. Winner of the men's competition was Åge Hadler from Norway. Hadler regarded the eighth control, which was located in thick forest, as the most difficult, where the last part of the leg required meticulous map reading and frequent checking of the compass.Ulla Lindkvist from Sweden won the women's competition. Sweden won the men's relay, which had four legs, with a margin of nearly eight minutes. Sweden also won the women's relay, which had three legs, with a margin of 21 seconds to silver medalist Finland.
The championships were attended by President of Finland, Urho Kekkonen, who was present at the finishing area.
|Men's individual||Åge Hadler (NOR)||1:36:05||Aimo Tepsell (FIN)||1:38:47||Anders Morelius (SWE)||1:40:05|
|Women's individual||Ulla Lindkvist (SWE)||52:45||Katharina Perch-Nielsen (SUI)||1:00:30||Raila Hovi (FIN)||1:00:51|
|28||Helmut Conrad||East Germany||2:12:26|
|33||Harald Grosse||East Germany||2:16:45|
|42||Alistair Patten||Great Britain||2:33:09|
|44||Rolf Heinemann||East Germany||2:33:37|
|46||Gordon Pirie||Great Britain||2:43:48|
|48||David Griffiths||Great Britain||2:47:07|
|49||John Disley||Great Britain||2:48:56|
|51||Achim Zemanek||East Germany||3:01:56|
|53||Michael Murray||Great Britain||3:16:52|
|55||Tony Walker||Great Britain||3:29:12|
|DSQ||Sepp Michael Pacher||Austria|
|12||Vibeke Såbye Christensen||Denmark||1:11:44|
|15||Erika Wauer||East Germany||1:14:05|
|20||Ulrike Heinemann||East Germany||1:18:08|
|23||Ria Meyer||East Germany||1:24:29|
Bjørnar Valstad is a Norwegian former orienteering athlete who has won 4 World Orienteering Championships gold medals.
Morten Berglia is a Norwegian orienteering competitor.
Øyvin Thon is a Norwegian orienteering competitor, and has seven gold medals at the World Orienteering Championships.
Åge Hadler is a Norwegian orienteering competitor, winner of the 1966 and 1972 individual World Orienteering Championships, relay champion from 1970, and individual bronze medalist from 1968.
Sigurd Dæhli is a Norwegian orienteering competitor. He became Relay World Champion in 1981, by participating on the Norwegian winning team in Thun, Switzerland. He obtained bronze in the 1983 Individual World Orienteering Championships in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary.
Ann-Marie Wallsten is a Swedish orienteering competitor and European champion. She won a silver medal in the individual event and a gold medal in the relay event at the 1964 European Orienteering Championships in Le Brassus, Switzerland.
Magne Dæhli is a Norwegian orienteering competitor, ski-orienteer and cross-country skier. His achievements include five medals in the relay at the World Orienteering Championships, of which three are gold medals. His best individual performances include a silver medal in the long distance from the European Orienteering Championships, and a bronze medal in the middle distance from the 2019 World Orienteering Championships.
The Finnish Orienteering Federation is the governing body for the sport of orienteering in Finland. The federation was founded in 1945 and has approximately 60,000 members.
Harald Thon is a Norwegian orienteering competitor who represented the club IF Sturla and the Norwegian national team. He was part of the Norwegian winning team in relay at the World Orienteering Championships in 1981 and 1983.
The Swedish Orienteering Federation is the national orienteering association in Sweden. It is recognized as the national federation for Sweden by the International Orienteering Federation, of which it is a member.
The Norwegian Orienteering Federation is the national Orienteering Association in Norway. It is recognized as the orienteering association for Norway by the International Orienteering Federation, of which it is a member. The association was founded 1 October 1945, and is a member of the Norwegian Confederation of Sports (NIF). Its first chairman was Kaare Thuesen. In 1946 NOF had 204 associated clubs, with just above 7,000 members. The number of clubs and associated members increased gradually through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and peaked in 1984 with 630 clubs and 34,000 members, and 35,000 members and 620 clubs in 1985. The next twenty years saw a decline in the number of clubs and members. As per December 2007 Norges Orienteringsforbund had 400 associated clubs and just above 24,000 members, distributed over eighteen districts.
Astrid Carlson was a Norwegian orienteering competitor who competed in the 1970s. She participated at the 1978 World Orienteering Championships in Kongsberg, where she placed 8th in the individual course. She won a silver medal in the relay at the 1979 World Orienteering Championships in Tampere, together with Anne Berit Eid and Brit Volden.
The Hungarian Orienteering Federation is the governing body for orienteering in Hungary. It is recognized as Hungary's national orienteering association by the International Orienteering Federation (IOF), of which it is a member.
Øystein Halvorsen is a Norwegian orienteering competitor who competed in the 1970s. He won bronze medals at the Norwegian Championships in 1973 and in 1976, and a silver medal in 1977.
Per Kristiansen is a former Norwegian orienteering competitor who competed in the 1950s and 1960s, and later served as an official for the sport at a national level. He became National Champion both individually and in relay, and was twice the individual medal winner at the Scandinavian Championships. He participated at the two first European Orienteering Championships, with a silver medal in relay as his best result.
Ruth Humbel is a Swiss politician (CVP) and a member of the Federal Assembly. She is also an orienteering competitor at international level. She won bronze medals in the relay at the World Orienteering Championships in 1978, 1981 and 1985. She placed fourth in the individual event at the 1981 World Championships, and fifth in the relay in 1979.
Idrettslaget Heming is a Norwegian sports club from Slemdal, Oslo. It has sections for association football, Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, orienteering and tennis, previously also for bandy.
Ida Bobach is a Danish orienteering competitor who was Junior World Champion in 2009, and became triple Junior World Champion from 2010, when she won the sprint, long distance and the relay. She represents the club OK Pan Århus, and since 2007, has received training from Danish national coach Lars Lindstrøm. In 2015 she won gold medals at the World Championships in the long and Relay.
The 2nd World Orienteering Championships were held in Linköping, Sweden, 28–29 September 1968.
The 3rd World Orienteering Championships were held in Eisenach/Friedrichroda, East Germany, in September 1970.