Whyte earned Great Britain’s first BMX racing Olympic medal with silver at the Tokyo Games.
The 21-year-old Londoner, having been hampered by poor starts in qualifying, made it into the first corner of the final in second place and held his position as Niek Kimmann took gold for Holland.
The two crossed the line with a healthy margin after a late crash for Frenchman Romain Mahieu split the field, with Colombian Carlos Ramirez Yepes taking bronze.
And moments after Whyte’s silver broke the British duck, Beth Shriever went one better with gold in the women’s final.
The 22-year-old had looked the class of the field in qualifying and delivered in the final.
She led from the first bend, holding off a late charge from defending champion Mariana Pajon of Colombia down the final straight.
Shriever collapsed in tears after the finish line before being lifted off herfeet by a jubilant Whyte.