Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDon't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery Ocasio-Cortez explains 'present' vote on Iron Dome Dingell fundraises off Greene altercation on Capitol steps MORE (D-N.Y.) is praising Simone Biles for her "bravery," saying the Olympian set "a huge example" by prioritizing her mental health at the Tokyo Games.
"These Olympics, [Biles] showed that she's a role model — not just as an athlete — but a leader, for just all people, but especially women," the lawmaker told TMZ on Tuesday.
Biles won the bronze medal in the balance beam final at the Olympics on Tuesday. The third place finish came after the gymnast had withdrawn from five events over the past week, citing mental health concerns. Biles said she was suffering from a common condition among gymnasts known as "the twisties," which gives the athletes a feeling of being "lost" while in the air.
The move drew widespread commendation but also some criticism. Conservative pundit Charlie Kirk dubbed the 24-year-old superstar gymnast "selfish" and a "shame to the country."
But Ocasio-Cortez said Biles's Olympics decision showed, "We do not have to choose between our performance and ourselves, and, like, our health. And both of those things are one in the same."
"Her bravery I think was a huge example to everybody," Ocasio-Cortez said. "And her coming back to win another medal, it showed that her taking care of herself helped. ... It's all one in the same in the end. It helps you be better in the end."