One in four British athletes competing at the Rio Olympics were educated at private schools compared with 7 per cent of the population as a whole, analysis by The Good Schools Guide found.
More female than male competitors went to independent schools, and a higher number of those representing team sports went to boarding schools.
A total of 24 per cent of Team GB was educated privately — 27 per cent of the female athletes and 21 per cent of male. Experts ascribed this to girls being more competitive at single-sex schools because they are less likely to be embarrassed by the opposite sex.
Susan Hamlyn, director of consultants at The Good Schools Guide, said: “There are more girls-only independent schools than boys-only. I suspect that in girls’ schools sport often has a higher profile than in mixed schools and in many state schools. Also, success in sport is more important in girls-only schools than in mixed schools or state schools. Girls in independent schools can get very competitive.” Read more