March 26, 2023

Recovery in Progress w/Ko Chandetka

Recovery in Progress w/Ko Chandetka
The player is loading ...
The Bánh Mì Chronicles

(S8, EP 9) For this week, I invited Ko Chandetka, an award-winning body builder to the show.  We talked about his family’s resettlement in Elgin, IL after the Lao Civil War, his development as a body builder, and his recovery from addiction and more.  You won’t want to miss this episode! Thank you and enjoy the listen!


Born in Mukdahan, Thailand, Ko Chandetka spent his early years living in Savannakhet, Laos. His father was a member of the royal Lao army and his family fled Laos after the Lao Civil War. They settled in the United States as refugees in 1975 and Ko grew up in Elgin, IL.. Ko began working out in his parents’ basement after being bullied and inspired by super heroes as a child. He became a competitive bodybuilder in 1991 winning his first NPC title through 2003.  Ko would compete in numerous competitions before an injury sent him down a path of drug addiction, depression and alcoholism. After seeking help, Ko was able to return to the sport, earn an IFBB Pro card and place at the 2016 Mr. Olympia contest. He co-founded the Lao American Sports Hall of Fame ( in 2022 and is the host of the SEA4 Podcast: Southeast Asian Athlete Achievement &; Adversity. Ko currently resides in South Elgin, IL and is a Bodybuilding consultant (

Sponsored by:

VietFive Coffee: Start your day right with VietFive Coffee.  Freshly grown coffee harvested straight from Vietnam and roasted in Chicago, VietFive offers rich quality tasting Vietnamese coffee straight to your soul.  Visit VietFive Coffee in Chicago to grab a fresh cup and a Banh Mi to go along with it, or go to and use the code in all Caps: VMNCHIV5 to get 15% off your purchase.

Circa-Pintig: The Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts - CIRCA Pintig is a 501c3 engaging communities through the power of the arts to challenge injustice and transcend social change. CIRCA Pintig produces timely works to provide education, activation, and advocacy. For information about upcoming events and to learn about how to get involved, visit

--- Support this podcast: