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Competition heats up at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico

Andy Clark / Reuters

Colombia's Yesid Meneses, bottom throws Venezuela's Luis Liendo during their Men's 60 kg wrestling match at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Oct. 21, 2011. The Games run through Oct. 30.

The U.S. team leads the medal count at the Pan Am Games even though, as AP reports, many of the country’s best athletes aren’t competing.

"At the end of the day, I think the scheduling of these games was a little bit more challenging than normal just because it was October instead of the summer," United States Olympic Committee secretary general Scott Blackmun said a day before the opening ceremony in Guadalajara.

"Much of our team historically is comprised of collegiate athletes who are in their college seasons or otherwise in school right now," Blackmun added. "In other cases we had some scheduling challenges. The best example of that I think is the gymnastics championships in Tokyo. We had athletes competing there up until a couple of days ago. It is not safe for them to go straight from one competition to another." Read more…

Nathan Denette / AP

Canada's Samantha Cornett, left, plays against Colombia's Catalina Pelaez for the gold medal in the Women's team squash event on Oct. 21. Canada won gold.

Jorge Silva / Reuters

Colombia's synchronized swimming team performs during the free routine finals on Friday.

Raul Arboleda / AFP - Getty Images

Panamanin Eliecer Navarro pitches during his team's game against the U.S. on Friday. The U.S. won 9-5.

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