Sir Steve Redgrave believes children who go to private schools have a better chance of becoming Olympic champions.
The rower and five-time Olympic gold medal-winner attended a state school, where he was convinced by an English teacher to "take on the mantle" of becoming an Olympian.
The 54 year old told the Radio Times: "Hopefully, I would have done whatever background I came from.
"But it's not always the case: the opportunity of playing different sports and the coaching abilities at private schools are, unfortunately, much greater than at the state schools."
However, he added: "It's not as bad as people think it is."
Sir Steve will attend the Rio Olympics, but is not concerned about potential infrastructure problems, the Zika virus, security issues or water pollution.
"I'm feeling very positive," he said. "Look at Beijing. After the opening ceremony there's no talk about drugs, or human rights issues, it's about all those sports with the world's best athletes competing. That's how it should be."