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A silver medal is a medal awarded to the second place finisher of contests (typically athletics competitions) such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, etc.

First and third place finishers traditionally receive a gold medal and bronze medal, respectively.

Olympic Games

In 1896, winners' medals were in fact silver. The custom of gold-silver-bronze for the first three places dates from the 1904 games and has been copied for many other sporting events. Minting the medals is the responsibility of the host city. From 1928-1968 the design was always the same: the obverse showed a generic design by Florentinemarker artist Giuseppe Cassioli with text giving the host city; the reverse showed another generic design of an Olympic champion. From 1972-2000, Cassioli's design (or a slight reworking) remained on the obverse with a custom design by the host city on the reverse. Noting that Cassioli's design showed a Roman amphitheatre for what was originally a Greek games, a new obverse design was commissioned for the Athens 2004 Games. Winter Olympics medals have been of more varied design.

World Cup

Silver medals were, unusually enough, awarded for the third place in the 1974 and 1978 football World Cups (the runners-up were awarded a gilded medal).

The Open Championship

In The Open Championship golf tournament, the Silver Medal is an award presented to the lowest scoring amateur player at the tournament.

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