(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 (www.laoamericansports.com) 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 (www.gkomotivation.com).
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