The family of a BMX racer who clinched a silver medal at the Olympic Games said it means “everything” to their community in south London.
Kye Whyte, 21, from Peckham, came second in the men’s BMX racing – Britain’s first medal in the event since its introduction to the Olympic programme in 2008.
Whyte began his celebrations by a TV screen showing a link to the party taking place at the Peckham BMX Club – the place where his father was a coach, his mother the secretary, and his path to this moment began.
The Olympian’s father, Nigel Whyte, was among family and friends watching the final at the Peckham BMX Club, and said it was “amazing”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “Knowing Kye like I do, and his brothers know him, we’re like ‘Kye, it’s the Olympics, stop taking the Mick, yeah, do the job’.
“He’s got this amazing ability to come through the pack. We know that.”
He said his son epitomises the motto “never give up”, adding: “That’s him being him, he don’t give up.”
Asked if Kye was hoping to get gold, Mr Whyte said: “For me, if Kye says ‘I’m OK’, I’ll just leave it like that, that’s good enough for me.
“Kye said to me ‘I got this dad’. That’s good enough for me. I’ve got faith in my boy.
“Silver’s great, come on, top three.”
Mr Whyte was asked what it means for the Peckham BMX Club and he said: “I know people say cloud nine. I’m saying cloud 100 at the moment.
“I’ve never had the whole club around me before. It’s just normally me and his mum.
“We had a lot of kids here, parents. I’m just so happy for their support. Kye saw the support. It is just amazing for everyone and the club.
“So everyone had to believe that knowing Kye he could do something special.”
Kye’s brother Tre said he does not think the success has sunk in yet, telling the Today programme: “I can’t believe it, but he’s gone and done it. He’s actually done it.”
Tre said his mother could not even get off her chair, adding: “I had to tell her that her job is done and she can just go and celebrate now.”
Asked what his brother’s success will mean to people in Peckham, he said: “Everything. It means everything.
“We come from nothing. Literally a tiny little BMX track.
“And now he’s got a silver medal.”
Speaking about his brother, Tre said “the world is his oyster now”, adding: “He’s only 21 years of age. He can go where he wants.
“The next step is only gold.”
Meanwhile, Beth Shriever, 22, from Leytonstone, triumphed in the women’s BMX racing.
As she collapsed in tears after the final, a jubilant Whyte scooped her up and held her aloft in celebration.
“I’m more happy for her than I am for me,” Whyte said afterwards. “That girl puts in some serious serious graft.”