A podium (plural podiums or podia) is a platform used to raise something to a short distance above its surroundings. It derives from the Greek πόδι (foot). In architecture a building can rest on a large podium. Podia can also be used to raise people, for instance the conductor of an orchestra stands on a podium as do many public speakers. Common parlance has shown an increasing use of podium in North American English to describe a lectern. In sports, a type of podium can be used to honor the top three competitors in events. In the modern Olympics a tri-level podium is used. Traditionally, the highest platform is in the center for the gold medalist. To their right is a lower platform for the silver medalist, and to the left of the gold medalist is a lower platform for the bronze medalist. At the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, the Silver and Bronze podium places were of equal elevation. In many sports, results in the top three of a competition are often referred to as "podiums" or "podium finishes". In some individual sports, "podiums" is an official statistic, referring to the number of top three results an athlete has achieved over the course of a season or career. The word may also be used, chiefly in the United States, as a verb, "to podium", meaning to attain a podium place.
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