Simone Biles hitting the pause button on the Olympics and coming back when she was good and ready is getting nothing but praise from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ... who says it sets a new standard for professional athletes.
AOC broke down what Simone's past week means big picture-wise, when we got her on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning. She said a precedent seems to have been set by Simone -- namely, that athletes don't have to put competing first no matter what.
Instead, she says their own well-being is just as important, if not more so ... and ought to be treated that way.
That certainly appears to be the case, as the proof is in the pudding with SB -- who came back and competed Monday in the balance beam final ... and medaled with a Bronze. To the congresswoman, that simply makes the case even stronger -- that stepping aside was exactly what Simone needed, and it worked out for everyone, including Team USA, in the end.
AOC tells us this is a huge step for mental health advocacy, noting Simone has trailblazed yet again ... only in a different and perhaps more meaningful way this time around.
It'll be interesting to see if other pros follow in Simone's footsteps, and if they do ... Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is all for it -- because she thinks performance doesn't come before one's self.
As for Simone ... she made it clear that this Bronze is incredibly meaningful, saying it might be her most proud achievement.