Disappointment on the podium: silver medalists

You'd think an Olympian would be happy to approach the podium and

receive a medal, but while gold medal winners are understandably

ecstatic and bronze medalists look giddy just to be onstage, silver medal winners are often described as the "first loser." Many Olympians are proud of their silver while some can't help but express the disappointment of being so close --  and yet so far -- from Olympic gold. -- By Paul Rosales, Yahoo! Sports

Olympics Day 9 - Gymnastics - Artistic

McKayla Maroney of the United States stands on the podium with her silver medal during the medal ceremony following the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Vault final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 6 - Gymnastics - Artistic

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Victoria Komova of Russia reacts after finishing in second and winning the silver medal in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Individual All-Around final on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 5 - Table Tennis

Ning Ding of China cries after the Women's Singles Table Tennis Gold Medal match against Xiaoxia Li of China on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 1, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 4 - Swimming

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Michael Phelps of the United States leaves the pool after winning the silver in the Men's 200m Butterfly final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 4 - Swimming

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Silver medallist Michael Phelps of the United States poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 200m Butterfly final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 6 - Rowing

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: (C) Rower Chris Bartley of Great Britain is helped to the medal stand after having to be pulled out of his boat after winning the silver medal in the Lightweight Men's Four final on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on August 2, 2012 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 9 - Gymnastics - Artistic

Louis Smith of Great Britain celebrates with his silver medal during the medal ceremony following the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Pommel Horse final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 6 - Gymnastics - Artistic

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Victoria Komova of Russia poses with her silver medal after the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Individual All-Around final on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ryan Lochte

United States' Ryan Lochte, left, and United States' Michael Phelps react after winning silver in the men's 4x100-meter freestyle relay final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Sunday, July 29, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

silver

Jingbiao Wu of China reacts after failing to complete his final lift and falling into silver position during the mens 56-kg, group A, weightlifting competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Olympics Day 9 - Athletics

Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain lays on the ground after winning the silver medal in the Women's 400m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

silver

Norway's Bartosz Piasecki stands on the victory stand after winning the silver medal in men's individual epee fencing competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Olympics Day 7 - Shooting

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: (L-R) Silver medalist Lionel Cox of Belgium, gold medalist Sergei Martynov of Belarus and bronze medalist Rajmond Debevec of Slovenia pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for theMen's 50m Rifle Prone Shooting qualification on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Royal Artillery Barracks on August 3, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 6 - Swimming

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Ryosuke Irie of Japan looks on after winning silver in the Men's 200m Backstroke final on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 6 - Swimming

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Ryan Lochte of the United States looks on after winning silver in the Men's 200m Individual Medley final on Day 6 nof the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

Silver medallist Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus, gold medallist Ranomi Kromowidjojo of Netherlands, and bronze medallist Marleen Veldhuis of Netherlands pose on the podium during the medal ceremony Women's 50m Freestyle Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

silver

Italy's gold medalist Elisa Di Francisca is flanked by silver medalist Arianna Errigo, left, and bronze medallist Valentina Vezzali pose after receiving their medals for fencing at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Olympics Day 7 - Gymnastics - Trampoline

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: (L-R) Silver medalist Dmitry Ushakov of Russian poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's Trampoline during Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 3, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Roxana Daniela Cocos

Silver medalist Roxana Daniela Cocos of Romania kisses her medal during a medals ceremony after the women's 69-kg weightlifting competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Olympics Day 1 - Cycling - Road

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Silver medallist Rigoberto Uran Uran of Colombia celebrates during the Victory Ceremony for the Men's Road Race Road Cycling on day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 7 - Judo

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Silver medalist Alexander Mikhaylin of Russia in the Men's 100 kg Judo on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 3, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 1 - Judo

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Hiroaki Hiraoka of Japan celebrates winning the silver medal in the Men's -60 kg Judo on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 2 - Judo

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29: Silver medalist Yanet Bermoy of Cuba smiles after winning the Women's -52 kg Judo on Day two of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 29, 2012 in London, Englan (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 2 - Fencing

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29: (L-R) Silver medalist Diego Occhiuzzi of Italy poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's Sabre Individual on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 2 - Weightlifting

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29: Jingbiao Wu of China celebrates with the silver medal on the podium after the Men's 56kg Weightlifting on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

silver

Australia's Christian Sprenger reacts after his silver medal win in the men's 100-meter breaststroke swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Sunday, July 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Olympics Day 2 - Judo

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29: Miklos Ungvari of Hungary wins the 66kgs silver medal during the Day two mens category at ExCeL, on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by David Finch/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 3 - Judo

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Silver medalist Riki Nakaya of Japan pose on the medal stand during the Men's -73 kg Judo on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 30, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 3 - Weightlifting

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera of Colombia celebrates with the silver medal on the podium after the Men's 62kg Weightlifting on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 30, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 3 - Judo

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Silver medalist Corina Caprioriu of Roumania leaves the mat after her semi-final victory in the Women's -57kg Judo followed by her coach on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 30, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by David Finch/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 4 - Weightlifting

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Svetlana Tsarukaeva of Russia stands on the podium with her silver medal after the Women's 63kg Weightlifting final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 5 - Table Tennis

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Xiaoxia Li of China stands on the podium for her national anthem after winning the Gold medal and Ning Ding of China (L) the Silver following the Women's Singles Table Tennis Gold Medal match on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 1, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 6 - Table Tennis

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Silver medalist Wang Hao of China poses on the podium during the medal ceremony during the medal ceremony for the Men's Singles Table Tennis on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 6 - Judo

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Silver medalist Tuvshinbayar Naidan of Mongolia in the Men's -100 kg Judo on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 6 - Cycling - Track

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Silver medalists Jinjie Gong (L) and Shuang Guo of China celebrate with their silver medals during the medal ceremony for the Women's Team Sprint Track Cycling on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Velodrome on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 6 - Around the Games

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Team GB Women's-78kg Judo Gold medalist Gemma Gibbons poses with her Silver medal at Team GB House in Stratford on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Olympics Day 7 - Rowing

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Silver medalists Dorian Mortelette and Germain Chardin of France pose with their medals during the medal ceremony for the Men's Pair final on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on August 3, 2012 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)