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Thousands of elite athletes, Olympians train at this Phoenix fitness facility

Now retired from hockey, Shane Doan is serving as Team Canada’s Olympic GM in Beijing. He also trained at Exos in Phoenix.

PHOENIX — To become an Olympian, you have to train like one, hard.

In the Valley, a team of expert coaches are working out with professional athletes every day.

More than 215 Olympians have trained at Exos. The difference is in the details when you're training to compete with the best of the best.

Natalie Kollars, an Exos performance specialist, has trained dozens of world-class athletes in her career. 

“A lot of planning and understanding what the athletes need to be able to do," Kollars said. "Understanding where they’re at today, how long they have to train and what they need to be able to do in their sport.”

Valley hockey legend and Olympian, Shane Doan, is one of the thousands of elite athletes that train at Exos.

RELATED: Coyotes legend Shane Doan opens up about life after retirement

“For an athlete, you just show up," Doan said. "You know what you have to do. They hold you accountable and they give you the resources to understand why you’re doing it enough that you can get behind it.”

Doan had his Winter Olympics run with Team Canada in 2006, and he trained with Kollars at Exos back in 2013.

“He’s one of the best on the ice, but he works the hardest off the ice too,” Kollars said.

Now retired from hockey, Doan is serving as Team Canada’s Olympic GM in Beijing.

Kollars said training hockey players, focuses on high intensity and durability. They work to train their bodies to transfer force for something like a hockey pass, to being stable on the ice. 

“Lower body strength and power is one of the most important things for hockey players," Kollars said. "To accelerate, decelerate and change directions on the ice.”

It takes more than the training floor at Exos when molding an Olympic athlete.

“Outside we have our hydrotherapy," Kollars said. "We use this for a lot of recovery days for contrast work for going back and forth between hot and cold tubs.”

A specialized food plan is also important for athletes. "When the athletes come in as part of their intake process with our dietician, they get nutrition recommendations, their meals are created based off that," she said.

It's a full-circle program, Doan said is a must for any Olympic team. 

“No Olympic athlete gets to the Olympics on their own, none," Doan said. "You ask them, they’ll all point that out. Someone has helped them tremendously along the way.”

RELATED: Beijing Rewind, Feb. 8: Shiffrin exits another race early; Diggins makes history again

Winter Olympics in Beijing

The Beijing Olympics are here! Watch the stories of athletes with an Arizona connection right here on our 12 News YouTube playlist here.

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