Kauhajoki (literally “Scoop River”) is a town and municipality of Finland. The city is unilingually Finnish.
It is located in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Southern Ostrobothnia region. The population of Kauhajoki is 14,176 (28 February 2013) and the municipality covers an area of 1,299.10 km2 (501.59 sq mi) of which 16.46 km2 (6.36 sq mi) is inland water (1 January 2011). The population density is 10.91 /km2 (28.3 /sq mi).
Permanent settlement in the Kauhajoki area began in the 16th century and in 1584 chapel was built in Kauhajoki.
During the Winter War between 1939–1940, Kauhajoki hosted the Finnish parliament.
2008 vocational college shooting
On 23 September 2008, a school shooting at a vocational college in the city left 11 dead, including the gunman, and another woman wounded.
Some internationally successful Kauhajokian sports figures include:
- Jouko Salomäki, the 1984 Olympic Champion in Greco-Roman wrestling, was born in Kauhajoki.
- Kaarlo Maaninka, the 1980 Olympic silver and bronze medalist in long distance running, lives in Kauhajoki. He also represented the town's sports club Kauhajoen Karhu during his career.
- Vesa Hietalahti, the 2003 World Championship silver medalist in biathlon, was born and lives in Kauhajoki. He also represented the town's sports club Kauhajoen Karhu throughout his career.
- Heli Koivula Kruger, the 2002 European Championship silver medalist in triple jump, was born in Kauhajoki. She also represented the town's sports club Kauhajoen Karhu throughout her career.
- Jani Haapamäki, the 2009 European Champion in Greco-Roman wrestling, was born in Kauhajoki. He also represents the town's sports club Kauhajoen Karhu.
Kauhajoki is also known about basketball club Kauhajoen Karhu, which plays in the Finnish first-tier league Korisliiga.
Media related to Kauhajoki at Wikimedia Commons