Meet USA Games Torch Runner, Nick Stachula

June 2, 2014

Meet Nick Stachula, a detective for West Allis Police Department. On June 15, Stachula will join officers from across the country and run in the Final Leg of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. 

The Final Leg is a five-day, multi-state event which includes more than 100 Law Enforcement representatives and athletes from all 50 states. The event concludes when officers kick off the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games by delivering the Flame of Hope to the Opening Ceremony at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Participating in the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) motivated Stachula to recover quickly from injuries he incurred when a perpetrator shot him on the job in August of 2010. He spent many days at the hospital, undergoing multiple surgeries to rebuild a severed femur and shattered tibia (shinbone). With time, patience and determination, he was able to bike multiple legs in the 2011 LETR event, each varying from 1.5 to 3 miles between Milwaukee and Stevens Point. He’s hit the ground running ever since.

Stachula has served as an active volunteer for 13 years, organizing Torch Run fundraisers, including the Polar Plunge® and Over the Edge. The Wisconsin Torch Run Council nominated Stachula to represent Wisconsin at the Games. Tyler Derringer, a SOWI athlete and Torch Run Council Member, gave Stachula his vote of confidence.

“Detective Nick Stachula is an inspiration to his fellow officers at West Allis Police Department and officers all over for his dedication to keep the torch burning for Special Olympics. He is truly a guardian of the flame,” he said. 

According to Stachula, Special Olympics brings out the best in people. In his line of work, it is a much appreciated reminder of the good in the world.

“The athletes are always very positive towards Law Enforcement and are always so excited to see us,” he said. “Special Olympics not only benefits athletes, it benefits volunteers. We are there for the athletes, just as they are there for us.” 

A total of 3,500 athletes, 1,000 coaches and delegates, 10,000 volunteers and 70,000 spectators will attend.  Sports competition will be held at venues throughout Mercer County, New Jersey, including Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Park and several area private schools. For more information, visit 

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