The world of rowing was first introduced to Denmark’s Ebbesen 20 years ago when he debuted at the 1992 World Rowing Championship in the boat class that he was to become synonymous with; the lightweight men’s four. From 1994 onwards Ebbesen’s fate was sealed; the lightweight men’s four was to be the only boat he would race at a World Championships or Olympic Games over his two decade long rowing career.

Ebbesen’s first taste of Olympic success was in Atlanta in 1996, where he took gold along with Victor Feddersen, Niels Henriksen and Thomas Poulsen. Since then he has added two more Olympic golds and a bronze to his collection.

Olympic silverware holds a lure to Ebbesen. Over the past two Olympic cycles he has only competed at two World Rowing Championships, in 2007 and 2011, coming back just in time to challenge for glory at the Games. At the Beijing Olympics the performance by the Danish lightweight men’s four wowed the crowd. In a lightweight rowing event, where rowers are an average of 70kg the winning margins are usually small, Ebbesen and his crew dominated the final from stroke one. Ebbesen doesn’t consider the race to have been so special; “I think the level we reached before the Olympics was special,” he says.

The lightweight men’s four has become an increasingly difficult event to be consistently at the top. “People are rowing faster now,” Ebbesen says. The run up to the 2012 Olympic Games has not been text book for the four with some below-par performances throughout the 2011 and 2012 seasons, but Ebbesen’s perspective on this is realistic. “We are performing really well and the times when we aren’t performing  so well we can always look back and say there are a couple of things we could have done better.”

Bouncing back, defying perception that his crew may not be on form almost thrills Ebbesen. He considers the “process of fighting back when we don’t do well, trying out things to improve at the right time,” as some of his greatest memories.

London is “definitely my last Olympics” Ebbesen says, but his love of the sport that has been a central part of most of his adult life still brings him great enjoyment. “At home in Denmark people ask me, ‘why are you doing this? You could sit home and enjoy life and do what you like,’ but I think it’s fun. I like the competition, I like to be in good shape and I’m happy that this is my job.”

The fact that London is the host of his final Olympic Games is also particularly poignant to Ebbesen. “This is my fifth Olympics but it is the first time it is so close to Denmark. Every Olympics is very special but Great Britain is so close to home, we are almost neighbours.”

What are Ebbesen’s thoughts as he faces the Olympic final? “Certain things should work optimal – but what I am sure 100 per cent of is that we have the potential.” He will race for his final Olympic medal on Thursday  August at 12.10 (GMT).