A podium (plural podiums or podia) is a platform used to raise something to a short distance above its surroundings. It derives from the Greekπόδι (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 American English to describe a lectern.
In sports, a type of podium is used to honor the top three competitors in events such as the Olympics. In the Olympics a three-level podium is used. Traditionally, the highest level in the center holds the gold medalist. To their right is a somewhat lower platform for the silver medalist, and to the left of the gold medalist is an even lower platform for the bronze medalist. At the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, however, the Silver and Bronze were equal in 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.